Google introduced its newest feature this week, a social toolbar. The toolbar shows users’ social information on other web sites, and was created in efforts to help web site publishers and users maximize the use of Google Friend Connect.
How does the social toolbar work? Users can use the social features through several outlets. Users can join the site, see their identity, and edit their profiles and settings. Users can also see links to recent posts made anywhere on the site, easily finding the most recent and popular site activity. Google’s Social Web Blog reports that “[t]he wall gadget can host a discussion for the whole site, a section of pages, or each individual page, letting … visitors easily read and leave comments”. Users can also view other members of the sit, and add each other as friends. As tools such as the social toolbar become more commonplace, can we foresee a more social approach to the Internet?