The search giant hasn’t created the next “Like” button. It’s created the world’s simplest (and most powerful?) research bookmarking tool.
Google introduced +1 to the world on Wednesday, an experimental tool that adds a feature similar to Facebook’s Like button to Google searches. Because the snazzy new button is so, well, Like-like, everyone’s talking about how +1 symbolizes yet another attack from Google against the Social Network.
Personally, I think Mark Zuckerberg is Facebook’s single greatest threat and the +1 button will only bolster the big social timesuck. After all, if the experiment is a success, Google will develop an API that will allow developers to merge +1 with Like, just as they’ve done with Google Buzz and Twitter, Twitter and Facebook, etc. etc. etc. Neither service will starve, because one will feed the other.
In other words, Facebook needn’t worry a bit about +1.
But, imagine, if you will, that I decided to write the world’s greatest book about bananas. Okay, I would never do that (it’s already been written by the formidable and funny Dan Koeppel) but let’s pretend that I’m doing my first day’s research on the topic. I go to Google and I type “bananas.” Here’s what I see:
I’ve just bookmarked something directly from search. I do it again. And again. Suddenly digging through pages and pages of search results feels less overwhelming—if I see something of promise, I click +1 and move on. All my one-ups (that’s what I’m calling them—that’s the proper gamer geek term and “Plus Ones” sounds silly) are saved on my Google profile, either for public or private review.
Big deal, right? For notebook services like Evernote or OneNote, this is a huge blow. Many users of these notebooking services use them to archive URLs for later review—exactly what +1 does, but faster. Add the resulting social data to your search (how many folks in my contact list or industry one-upped this page?) and you have something truly magical.
Of course, this entirely depends on public adoption of the new tool—and the warmth of Google’s own embrace. Anyone remember Google Wave?
What do you think? Has Google one-upped social bookmarking tools? Does Google have its sights on Facebook? Leave a comment below.