Google has taken its +1 button to the consumer masses, allowing users to install the +1 Chrome extension to begin +1ing favorite Web pages and sites right from their browser.
Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, posted a link to the +1 button extension from the Chrome Web Store on Google+ late last night:
As of 8 a.m. EDT Sept. 1, it's already got over 6,600 users. I installed it this morning, and it sits quietly to the right of the Chrome Omnibox:
It's a significant extension because the +1 button, which users click to share a Web page they appreciate, is currently only available on 1 million Websites.
Offering a Chrome extension will allow the browser's 120 million-plus users to +1 a Web page wherever their Web travels take them. Users no longer have to hunt for the +1 button on Websites they go to, to share a page.
These recommendations get logged in Google, which has already built a bridge between the +1 button and the Google+ social network.
Google+ users can click the +1 button on any Web page they like, sharing it with folks in their Google+ Circles. +1s of people users are connected to on Google Social Search also show up in search results.
This type of sharing mirrors Facebook's Like button, which is on millions of Websites and gets tons of clicks.
Users can manage their +1s in a new tab on their Google profile, opting to share them with users or keep them private. Moreover, info of URLs and Web pages users +1 gets sent to Google, where they no doubt mine it for ad information.
How Google leverages these tools to bolster its ad coffers remains to be seen, but the model is there -- in the +1 button on Websites, through integration on Google.com and Google+, and finally through the Chrome extension.