Since the report about Google+ poor engagement rate has been published, the company has tried to conduct some damage control without not so much success. Nobody really bought Vic Gundotra claims that Google+ engagement is actually really awesome, during the interview to the New York Times.
But now, with the following updates I will present here, they may be on the right direction (that just my opinion of course). Google rolled out two updates lately: New design for the +1 button and the possibility to thank people who +1’d the user site’s pages.
New +1 Button Design
Maybe it is an effort to create a new image for Google+ across the web or maybe it is just to make the +1 button more coordinated with the general Google+ theme (or maybe both), but Google has announced it is redesigning the look of the +1 button before and after clicking on it.
Now, before clicking on the button it will show (for the first time) the “g” symbol of the social network and the “+1” text in red on a white background and after clicking on the button, the colors will switch (white text, red background). Here’s how it would look:
There’s no need to make any changes to the code as Google will push the update automatically soon enough (no specific date was stated, but it is safe to assume it will happen within a few weeks or so). Once the new button will go live, Google will update their blog post announcement.
In a Google+ post by Eric Steinlauf (software engineer at Google) there’s an ongoing discussion about the new button design. From what I saw, most of the reactions are somewhat negative, where apparently people liked more the old colorful look. In contrast to the general opinion, I think differently…
I think that the new look is more suitable as it is definitely reflects Google+ better. After all, remember that the +1 button IS the button of Google+ (even though it was launched shortly before) and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t associate with it just as the other social buttons, such as the “Like” button of Facebook and the “Tweet” button of Twitter.
First noticed by State Of Search, Google began rolling out a link on the search results which creates automatically a personal Google+ thank you post to someone who +1’d the user’s web pages. In the following image, you can see an example of the “Thank link” and below it the Google+ post box that opens whenever clicking on this link:
Although it still not fully operational yet, in order to see the “Thank link” the user has to be logged in to his Google account, to enable personalized results (Search Plus Your World) and that the person who +1’d the user’s page has to be from one of his Circles.
Even though I am not such a big fan of Search Plus Your World, if you decides to live with Google+ inside the search results it actually can be a nice (and friendly) addition. From Google’s angle it is a great possibility to increase the so needed users engagement with the social network.