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Google+ Gets a Share Button

The Share button allows you to share an article with your circles or followers

Google+ now has a Share button, a less confusing and more straightforward version of its +1 sibling. Overshadowed by the launch of Google Drive, the Google+ Share button works like the Facebook and Twitter share buttons, so that you can post links directly to your feed.

The Google+ Share button works differently from the Google +1 button, which recommends links that show up in search results. Instead of implying your endorsement with “+1”, the Share button allows you to share an article with your circles or followers -- a behavior users are accustomed to when using the Facebook Like button or Twitter sharing.

Using the Google+ Share button does not automatically make your recommendation public. You must first click to bring up a share and comment box, where you can select whether the post will be public, or visible to your circles only. A second click will share that page on your Google+ feed and turn the button’s color from white to red, so you have a visual cue for any articles already shared.

The Google+ Share button works in a similar fashion to the Facebook Like button, including a share count and thumbnails of people in your circles who have already shared that item. A nice touch though is that you can click multiple times on the Google+ Share button so you can share the same page with different groups and customize your comment for that link.

The question remains how many publishers and websites will go for the Google+ Share button, and whether they will try to cram in two Google+ buttons (+1 and Share) alongside the myriad of other social networks’ buttons vying for your attention. This is probably something that will depend on whether they would be able to generate enough traffic from the social network’s 170 million users.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t visited your Google+ feed in quite a while (no need to feel guilty about it), the social network received a complete redesign, including a new navigation system, refreshed news stream and a dedicated hangouts page.

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