There’s a theory that labeling Google+ a social network is missing the point because it’s actually a tool to integrate social into search. If that’s the case, we can expect to see more “your friends have shared this link” tags in our Google search results in the near future. A recent discovery by Stateofsearch shows that Google is not only highlighting the stuff your friends share, but are now giving you a way to thank them for sharing it.
So the way it works is that after you search for something and your Google results show up, social search results will be highlighted with the standard “your friend Bob +1′s this.” The new addition is that underneath that notice will be a small text link which says “Thank them” and when that button is clicked it automatically shares the post on Google+ and tags those people in the link. Here is an image of the Thank them link courtesy of stateofsearch. Click over to their post to see more images.
This is an interesting new spin on the sharing phenomenon. I’m sure if Facebook did this there’d be a little outlash — “My feed is covered with thank yous, this feature is annoying!” But in any case it’s a step towards a two way sharing engagement and is also another case of Google+ showing that they are working themselves hard to find new ways to make social fun and interesting. Will you be thanking your friends?