We've known for quite some time that Google would continue their push into the world of social. Facebook currently controls that landscape and efforts such as Buzz and Orkut have failed to grab hold of users' interest. Google's next attempt, which now seems to be known as Google +1, will aim to change the landscape once more.
TechCrunch has been given a screenshot labeled "CONFIDENTIAL." At first glance, it seems like any old Google News page. However, if you pay close attention to the toolbar at the top, you'll notice some large "social" changes. Equipped with a share button, account icon, and a section called Loop, it sure seems like part of Google's new social strategy. Loop, from what we hear, is Google's version of social groups. You'll also see a number to the right of a user's account name. It's unclear what this is, it could be a notification count, but it's likely part of the new social messaging system.
If this is, in fact, Google's version of a social experience, it could very well pan out to be successful. Many people spend a large amount of time browsing through Google's websites. If that's the case, and their social experience is always at the top of their window, people are sure to pay attention to it. Assuming Google doesn't make the same mistakes as it did with Buzz, Google +1 could be seen as something more useful, rather than something more intrusive. Google responded to TechCrunch with the following statement:
"We’re always experimenting with new ways to improve our products, and we have already confirmed that we are focused on incorporating social elements across Google. But we have nothing new to announce at this time."