Google today announced two new features for its +1 social button that web site owners can embed on their pages. Google’s senior vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra explained in a blog post that the +1 button (Chrome extension here) can now broadcast posts to your Google+ circles and do so with custom layouts. Previously, clicking the +1 button would only share web content with your contacts in their search results and on your Google Profile. Beginning today, you can choose the scope of sharing by clicking the +1 button and select the new “Share on Google+” option. You’ll be presented with options to choose a circle on Google+ to share with and write an optional comment.
Also new is the ability for publishers to customize a link, an image and a description (so-called +snippets”). Google writes over at the official Google Webmaster blog that “+Snippets let you put your best face forward by customizing exactly what appears when your content is shared”. An example includes Rotten Tomatoes, a popular movie review site where +1 posts include the movie title, poster and a brief synopsis (see the above screenshot). The new features will be rolling out over the next week so be patient. Another little nugget: The +1 button is today doing four billion daily views, twice as much it did back in July. The button is installed on more than a million web sites, which is not bad at all for yet another social button a little over two months old.