In March of this year, Google launched its +1 button for users–the semi-equivalent of a Facebook “Like,” but for entire web pages. And now their efforts have spread all across the web. Not only can you “+1” a website or an ad, but also articles and other news content. In addition, Google has announced that you can now +1 images that appear in the Google image search.
This concept of “+1” or “Like” is generally viewed as a stamp of approval by users for other users to take into account as they browse the Internet. And now that images have this same feature, you can “+1” the most relevant photos that you come across so that others will access them even easier in the future.
In my opinion, the Facebook “Like” and the Twitter “Follow” both make sense as a powerful social media marketing tools. They use a push and pull type of marketing, which motivates fans to continue to interact by offering incentives. On the other hand, while the “+1” does not necessarily maintain an active fan base, these recommendations from other users may increase the site’s click-through rate. Oftentimes sites with a “+1” increase a site’s visibility because it shows that other users have been satisfied with the content in the past.
With images, however, I don’t see the real value in a “+1”. Finding an image that many people have liked and used in the future isn’t necessarily something that you’re going for if you’re trying to create original content. Yes, you want the image to be relevant, but not overused. Will this new development be a productive change, or is it just a Google update for the heck of it?
What are your thoughts on the +1 of an image? Will it help you in the future, or would you rather just search on your own?