Google just announced that you can now easily share links to Google Books on its new social network Google+. That, by itself, isn’t really the most exciting news of the day – and the implementation could still be improved – but I think it is a sign of what’s to come once Google gets around to integrating Google+ sharing into more of its products.
Share Books With Your Literary Circles
If you are a Google+ user, you are already familiar with the new black bar at the top of your screens that gives you access to Google’s various properties and also alerts you of any activity in your Google+ account. This bar also features a “share” button, but by default, the share feature isn’t populated with any information from the site you are visiting when you click on it. On Google Books, however, Google will now automatically add the title, book cover and description to your post when you click the “share” button.
Still Room for Improvement
None of this is highly spectacular, but Google will hopefully get around to adding this functionality on more of its sites. Currently, for example, you can’t easily share a Place Page you found on Google Maps on Google+ without copying and pasting the URL. Indeed, it is somewhat surprising that the Google+ team chose Google Books – a relatively underused service – as the first property for this feature.
As Google expands its Google+ service to more sites – and maybe even launches a sharing button for third-party sites as well – it will hopefully learn to automatically extract more relevant information from these sites and services automatically and pre-populate the sharing dialog with these. While adding the link, cover and description from Google Books is nice, for example, there really is no reason why it couldn’t be formatted a bit nicer and why Google doesn’t add some more info (publishing date, name of author etc.) here as well.