For the 1 million users who are still using Google Wave more than a year since it was created, Google is making it easier for users to grab content from the Web into a wave.
Users previously had to cut and paste Web info into a wave. WaveThis is a button, bookmarklet and Chrome extension that lets users launch a discussion in a wave directly from the site users want to share.
WaveThis works like the retweet button on Twitter, or the new reshare button on Google Buzz.
It’s easier to show than explain. In this Wave blog post, I clicked on the WaveThis button, which launched me into a new wave discussion, copying the title and URL of the blog post:
This WaveThis button provides an easy way for me to discuss stuff I find on the Web in a wave post with friends and colleagues. No more cutting and pasting.
But good luck finding a WaveThis button unless you’re on a Google Website. The Wave team offers a WaveThis bookmarklet and a Chrome extension.
Users may grab the bookmarklet by dragging this link to their bookmarks in Firefox, Safari or Chrome.
Here’s how it works. When you see some text you like online, select it with your cursor, click the WaveThis bookmark and it immediately launches a new wave. I tried it here:
Google said the WaveThis extension works the same way. Install it from the Chrome extension gallery here.
OK, so Wave has some retweet/reshare functionality, so what? These features are bigger at second blush.
Think of how many times you may have wanted to use Wave but didn’t want to be bothered by going in and initiate a wave discussion.
WaveThis solves that user experience gap. I don’t expect many Websites to leverage a WaveThis button the way they do retweet.
But the bookmarklet and extension may prove useful in the future in helping Web-savvy users trigger more discussions on Google Wave.
Smart move, Google. Unfortunately, Facebook and Twitter boast a combined 600 million users who are already sharing content on those sites.
So, again, I’d submit the Wave use case will hold water for small workgroups or friends that want to go off the more public grids at Facebook and Twitter. But this won’t be a mass lure to the service.