Google have this week announced that it is taking its +1 feature beyond just search results.
The +1 feature allows you to recommend content to your friends and contacts directly from Google search results and ads. But from today you will begin seeing the feature appearing not just on search results but also on web pages.The +1 button will now go head-to-head with other similar sharing buttons offered by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr. Google have already announced partnerships with a number of sites where you will be seeing the +1 button from today:
The feature will also begin appearing on Google properties such as Android Market, Blogger, Product Search and YouTube.
Google hope that +1's integration with search results will make it an attractive feature to publishers, who stand to gain more traffic when their visitors +1 content.
It is important however to remember that the +1 feature is still only an experimental feature that Google search users need to opt in to. Friends' recommendations will only start to appear once you have opted in and are signed into your Google account.
Google's biggest challenge will be attempting to compete with the Facebook 'Like" button, which already appears on hundreds of thousands of third party sites. However, +1 has the advantage of appearing in search results, meaning users do not have to visit a site to +1 it.
So as the battle between Google and Facebook rages on who will emerge victorious? Does the +1 button present a realistic challenge to Facebook's ubiquitous 'Like' button?
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