I recorded a few thoughts on Google entering social; Google +1 (released 3/30/11) taking on the Facebook Like button; healthy competition:

Google +1 Button vs Facebook Like – 4/17/11 Emily Binder

Note 9/5/12: Audio player is broken. I will fix it soon.
“Assuming people use it, the social data is very likely to be the key ingredient to the future of Google Search. For now, you can enable +1 here.”MG Siegler for Techcrunch

With +1 turned on, here’s how search results for “rosebud atlanta” appear to me (the blue +1 button indicates I’ve clicked it. Otherwise it would be transparent): Search results Google +1 Atlanta restaurant Rosebud

Furthermore, intuitively, experiencing online content through one’s Google account makes so much more sense than through Facebook. How can you even get by without a Google account? Google Search, YouTube, Chrome, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Voice, Google Reader, etc. Facebook just lets you share your activity with your network or play Farmville. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Facebook Like share button mashable.comPlus, who wants their every move to be associated with their Facebook profile? This growing trend (e.g., blogs adding the Facebook comments feature) is worrisome. For one, requiring a Google account to do X is something that currently is less offensive to the anti-Facebook folks (anti- with good reasons). Google should incorporate into their business plan seeking the “sign in with ___” route. Obviously they will need to ideate their proposed social network with the most comprehensive market research and testing before launch to compete with Facebook. Start simple.

mouse_eating_cookies_emilybinderIf the Google +1 button (a la the Facebook Like button) just popped itself into my Digg Digg plugin, that would suffice. Update 7/1/11: +1 is in Digg Digg. Please click it (floating sidebar to your left.) We just want some healthy competition so we don’t feel obligated or threatened by one dominant brand (i.e. Facebook). It almost doesn’t matter if Google +1 ever rivals Like: that’s not the point. (Although it is likely that +1 will be a massive project and hopeful way to inform future social search.) Facebook creeping into everything I consume on the Web has made me uncomfortable for awhile. If you give a mouse a cookie… you will eventually not think twice about having to log in through Facebook to view, comment, and share most online content. Please: Always think twice.