There’s a button war going on around us. Google, Digg, Yahoo, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn — they’ve all been angling to get their buttons in prime real estate on big websites. But two players loom larger in the space than anyone else: Facebook and Twitter. And Twitter just escalated the war a bit today.
Twitter has just unveiled the Follow Button. This follows their Tweet Button which is already in use on thousands of websites across the web. While the Tweet Button was great for sharing individual pieces of content, the Follow Button is meant to establish more social connections on the service. In this regard, it’s sort of like the Facebook Like Button, which people place on their websites to get other Facebook users to tie themselves to brands remotely. Of course, the Like Button also acts a bit like the Tweet Button as well (that is, you can share individual pieces of content from it too).
Twitter’s dual-button concept is actually pretty simple. The Tweet Button is to share stuff. The Follow Button is to establish connections with other Twitter users remotely. So if we were to add a Follow Button to the sidebar on TechCrunch, with one click, you could follow our account. This is something Twitter has tried to do a bit with the Tweet Button pop-up (you can have it show the affiliated site account, for example), but this is a lot easier to understand. Though it also seems like this is a part of what they were doing with @anywhere — whatever happened to that anyway?
And again, it’s all a part of Twitter’s movement towards a stronger social graph with more connections. This will also help with discovery since Twitter is launching the Follow Button on over 50 high-profile sites including places like our sister sites AOL.com, About.me, and Huffington Post. And big sites like IMDb, MTV.com, Lady Gaga’s site, Jennifer Lopez’s site, and others.
You can find out more and make your own Follow Button here.