The question that needs to be asked in the wake of Google announcing last week the rollout of a new “Share” button for Google+ that’s more about curation and less about endorsement (which was the primary purpose of the existing “+1″ button) has to be this: Does this fill an existing gap in my publishing program?
There’s nothing monumentally different between this Google+ Share button and similar buttons from Twitter or Facebook. Except for the big one, which is that it has the potential to expose your content to the audience on a whole new network.
Now it’s true that the real size of the Google+ is fuzzy at best. Various studies will tell you various things about adoption rates, engaged user bases and so on. And there’s more than a little overlap likely between the audiences on those three networks. But even with those considerations in mind it can still be a solid idea to make sharing on Google+ as easy a process as possible since there’s little harm in whatever extra attention might be garnered there.
This is, though, simply a next step and there are plenty more to be taken. Recommendations in the form of +1 were find and now full throated sharing of content is possible. The next necessary steps to making Google+ a platform that gets serious business investment (stories of big trials have fallen sharply since launch) involve off-domain publishing tools. Google+ needs to be integrated into third-party suites that allow for both publishing and moderation/interaction.
The question then comes back to whether or not adding this – or any other – button serves the audience and the program. Does that extra button increase visual clutter? Are there so many “share” options that users are feeling overwhelmed and opting not to take any action? Those are just a few of the considerations to keep in mind whenever you’re thinking of adding yet another appeal for interaction to what’s being published.