Though Google+ is considered to be in its limited “field trial” (beta) mode, it has still become exceptionally popular very quickly as its developer teams continue to tweak, alter, and improve the social network features and service, including the +1 button.
The +1 button was in existence for quite a while before Google+ became available, but it never quite took off. However, now that the two of them are both available together, Google is significantly expanding the button’s functionality.
Formerly, the primary use of the +1 button was to help to gauge an article or site’s value based on the number of “votes” it received through the button. This data would then be used to help people to obtain the most relevant results when performing a Google search. However, with Google+, the +1 button is now being elevated to an entirely new level of functionality.
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Using it is no longer a matter of simply voting for a site. Now, it brings up a text field that enables the user to share the content that has received the user’s approval with their connections through their Google+ profile.
Of course, the +1 button can still be used in the same way that it has been since it first became available (a basic vote), but the new “Share on Google+” popup box encourages voters to spread the world much more directly. When this feature is clicked, a text box becomes available. The link can be shared with Google+ Circles as is, or the user can add a comment of his or her own into the text box before clicking the Share button.