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Google +1 may launch tomorrow; UPDATE: +1 begins initial launch with partner sites

+1According to TechCrunch, a Google affiliate has confirmed that the site’s +1 feature will begin its official launch tomorrow. PR company New Venture Communications reached out to the publication and more or less stole Google’s thunder: Google was going to give TechCrunch some “big” embargoed news, positioning itself for a decent chunk of press attention tomorrow concerning +1. But New Venture Communications’ broke the story before Google could give it away.

“I understand that Google planned to reach out to you about the new Goolge +1 button for websites that they’ll be unveiling shortly. I thought you might be interested in speaking with Hooman Radfar, CEO of Clearspring [its parent company], about the company’s role as a launch partner for Google +1,” the firm tells TechCrunch. It goes on to reveal that the more something gets “+1’ed,” the more credibility a URL is supposed to hold. Clearspring recently closed a $20 million round of series D fundraising and likely wants a little attention for partnering with Google on the +1 technology, which likely took advantage of Clearspring’s profitable AddThis platform.

We first heard about +1 in December, when a leaked screenshot revealed some sort of social feature that seemed to be based around recommending content via a web application that somehow tied to a user profile. Google Profiles have also gotten a makeover, as part of Google’s very, very incremental go at a social network. The +1 button will also apply to adds, which is one of Google’s approach to getting his hands on user data a la Facebook. In general, though, +1 means that social search is becoming even more important to Google.

+1 extensionAnd now you can get ready to see a +1 button next to your Google search returns. Using the tool will require you to involve yourself more in Google’s social features as well as steer some focus toward your contact’s profiles. We’ve known this application was coming for awhile and it’s launch isn’t likely to huge news (we’d expect a Google blog post of average length), but we’ll see how Google reacts to losing its grip on the announcement. Now we can just wait for some official word on the +1 Chrome extension Google gave us a glimpse of in its recent commercial.


Google announced +1’s official launch via its blog this afternoon. The +1 button will now begin appearing on a number of partner sites and will roll out for an even larger launch in the future. Google properties like Blogger, YouTube, Android Market, and Product Search are among the early +1’ers, and sites like Best Buy, Mashable, and The Huffington Post also made the initial release. You’ll start seeing the +1 button on their sites, and those interested in getting their own +1 application should visit Google’s designated site for webmasters.

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Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
Google+ update: Pseudonyms and brand pages are on the way

After stubbornly sticking by its anti-anonymity, no-nickname policy, Google will relent and allow users to create pseudonyms on the social network. At the Web 2.0 summit today, Google exec Vic Gundotra and Google co-founder Sergey Brin revealed the site will “support other forms of identity.”
Google tried long and hard to keep its users from anything but their legal names, but it appears it's loosening its grip and allowing a little more interpretation. It’s almost like Google is learning that social networking doesn’t work the same way the rest of the Internet does.
On that note, there will be some other concessions for the young new social networking. Google+ will integrate Google apps any day now, a feature users have long requested. The biggest and possibly most rewarding update in the works, however, is support for brands. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The leverage Google+ may have over other social networks is its option to weave its e-commerce and location platforms. Places and Offers could give Google+ a significant boost.
The site could do for a new influx of users and site activity, although the team defends the site as being in an “enviable position.”
And what about the memo from a Google+ engineer last week? That one that called the social network a “pathetic afterthought”? He gets to keep his job, although Gundotra admitted it was a tense situation. You can watch the entire discussion below, powered by Livestream.

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Facebook and Google add Like, +1 buttons to Chrome

Without a mention last month, Facebook released a plugin in early July to provide a built-in graphical button and pop-up menu functions for sharing a page on Facebook. After adding the plugin, users can click the thumbs up button and a pop-up window appears which loads the Facebook Like button widget. Users can also right click on any webpage to bring up a menu for liking, recommending or sharing the content. There isn't an option for Facebook's Send button though, a function that allows users to send content to any email address as well as people on the Facebook friend's list. A user doesn't need to be logged into Facebook to get the button to work and there's minimal setup to get started.
Google also launched a plugin for a built-in +1 button. The button is installed in the top right hand corner of the browser, right next to the Facebook Like button is both plugins are installed. In order to use the button, the user needs to log into a Google account. After logging in, only a single click is needed to +1 a page. Google did not announce the plugin on the official blog and it's surprising that +1 functionality hasn't been seen in the continually updated versions of Chrome. While over 14,000 people have installed the +1 button (compared to around 500 for that Facebook Like button), building +1 into Chrome would reach millions of Chrome users upon the next update of the browser.
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What exactly do all those +1 buttons really do? Google first released the +1 button in June, and it quickly took the internet by storm. After using them for a little while people started to notice that clicking the button really didn’t do much of anything. Today Google has announced two new features that will not only make the +1 button more useful, but also give people a reason to click it.
The +1 button was so popular it even became more popular than Twitter’s Tweet button.  Nothing would really happen when you clicked the button, even after the launch of Google+ which was disappointing. You are able to find what pages your contact have clicked, but that information wasn’t too easy to find.  Pages that people would +1 would not show up on  your homepage, and thus almost defeated the purpose for a user to click the button in the first place.
Over the next week or so Google will be rolling out two changes to the +1 button that will greatly change how we interact with it. Most importantly when you click on the +1 button you will be given the option to share that page with your circles.  When clicked a drop down menu will appear and you will see a link to the page, picture, and a small blurb about the page.
The other feature is more tailored to web publishers, and it is called +snippets. When sharing pages with your circles the description of what you are sharing can be modified and changed. This will help publishers and users to help start conversations about stories being +1ed.
The two new features sound similar to how Facebook’s Like button works. When you click the button it allows you to share a story, include a picture, and add some text to the link. It is very nice to see these changes coming to the +1 button, even if they should have been included at the launch of the service.

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