Google's +1 Buttons for Websites Have Arrived - But Will You Use Them?

Google today launched it’s +1 button for third-party sites. Until now, these buttons were only available on Google’s own search results page, but now, website owners will be able to integrate +1 into their own sites as well. Among today’s launch partners are major tech blogs like TechCrunch and Mashable, as well as Best Buy, The Washington Post, Reuters and Bloomberg. The question, though, is if users will actually want to press these buttons.

+1 Button = Delayed Gratification

In its current form, the +1 button is likely the least interesting button to press. The recommendations you make through +1 will only appear on Google’s search results pages (and your Google profile – but the reality is that nobody ever looks at those). There is no immediate gratification from using the button. Your recommendation won’t appear on your Facebook wall or in your Twitter feed. It may, at some point, appear on somebody’s search results page – but only if your friends end up using a query that would bring this site up anyway. Then, no doubt, this recommendation would be useful for your friends to decide to visit a site, but given that you can never know if that will ever happen, you’re probably better of ‘liking’ a story on Facebook than +1ing it.

Given that most users are likely just clicking one button per page they visit, chances are they will choose the one that’s most likely to get them an immediate reaction from their friends – and when it comes to that, the +1 simply doesn’t cut it against competitors like the Facebook and Twitter.