Google is once again making an attempt at entering into the social media market, this time with its new '+1' feature.
This is not the first time that Google has attempted to go toe-to-toe with social media giant, Facebook. Google previously released a number of social media products including Orkut, Buzz and the Google Profile. Unfortunately, none of these products have been as successful as Google had hoped.
Similar to the Facebook 'like' button, Google's '+1' button aims to harness the power of social media through user recommendations and, if '+1' takes off the way Google hopes that it will, the impact will be quite profound.
The beauty of Google's new undertaking, like that of Facebook's 'like' button, is the unheralded access that businesses will have to crowd-sourced feedback. However, the most important opportunity it offers is the ability to break into a network of people that may otherwise not have known about a product or service.
In fact, the viral nature of '+1' can transform a business into an immediate success story and, as Google begins to incorporate these ratings into their search result scores, the impact on search engine optimization will be huge.
Of course, there will likely be a slew of challenges associated with this new offering. There is no doubt that users will be slow to use the '+1' button and there will be discussions over privacy concerns as well.
If Google can overcome these hurdles, however, the advantages are numerous and the Internet landscape will change for the better.
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