Even though Google+ suffers from a problematic image when it comes to user engagement and its total number of active users is debatable (Larry Page somehow twisted it to 170 million), the company thrown this week another social plugin for websites to connect with its social network, the Google+ share button.
Google’s product manager Rick Borovoy has announced about this new social plugin in a post on Google’s Developers Blog, stating that the share button suppose to grant visitors a better opportunity to share things with their friends rather than “a simple endorsement”, which of course for that, visitors can use the +1 button.
However, when examining the differences between the two Google+ plugins it is pretty easy to comprehend that there isn’t really a significant distinction between one another. When clicking on either one, they are essentially doing the exact same action- Recommending the link to the user’s friends with the possibility to add a comment.
The +1 is “a simple endorsement” while the share button is… What exactly? Please allow me to tell you a little secret- Both of them are “a simple endorsement”… The problem is that the competition with Facebook is making Google to roll out the same shitty plugins that Facebook has rolled out in the past.
Just because Facebook has both a Like button and a share button, it doesn’t mean that Google+ needs to have two as well! To be completely honest, there isn’t any actual need for Facebook’s two plugins for the same reasons Google+ shouldn’t have two.
But Facebook introduced its share button long time ago (on the beginning of 2010), when social plugins weren’t very common around the web. Today, in almost every website there is a handful set of social plugins from variety of another social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Pinterest and more.
Because all this social plugins space on websites is already too much overcrowded, most websites only features one plugin for each social network. There aren’t many sites that shows both Facebook share and Like buttons on the same page. So why Google throwing at us another social plugin that basically DO THE SAME as another plugin?
Again, this is just due to the rivalry with Facebook and the who got bigger contest. Just to put things under the right perspective and to understand how apathetic was the reaction to Google+ share button across the web, when Spotify (which is a much smaller niche service) launched its Play button it received much more buzz than Google+ share button.
In most cases competition is great because it makes companies improve and launch new products. This is one of the few cases its not.