To infinity & beyond: Google Plus One

Sergey Brin: the Google cofounder knows how to launch.

TechCrunch is reporting that it looks like a March or April 2011 launch for Google’s social product, codenamed Emerald Sea. They’re also saying that the project’s name on release is likely to be Google +1, or Google Plus One, and that cofounder Sergey Brin has taken a personal role in the development process, sequestering the team in an antarctic lair remote building on the Google campus.

The service will likely come in the form of a toolbar and a Chrome extension, incorporating social functionality in the browser itself. The “+1” in the moniker would seem to suggest a functionality like Facebook liking or Twitter retweeting (another name TechCrunch reports in contention for the service, @Google, indicates the company’s desire to rip off emulate Twitter).

Mountain-View kremlinology aside, Google Plus One points towards the increasingly seamless integration of social features with the Web as a whole. From Facebook fists cropping up on web pages everywhere to the appearance of the highly-touted “social browser” Rockmelt, it’s clear that the Internet wants to keep track of our fingerprints. What that portends for brands like Facebook and Twitter, it’s too early to tell. Integration of social functionality at every level of the web is likely to be usefulóbut will it also make it harder to keep track of one’s own online fingerprints, and who is keeping them on file?

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