Get ready for your site to have more buttons than an 80’s denim jacket.
In the ongoing battle over social media, buttons seem to be a popular ammunition tool, attracting users like, well, a shiny button.
It may be no coincidence then that today both Google and Twitter are releasing updated or new buttons that can be embedded in websites.
Google +1 Button Now Available for Websites
When Google +1 was first released, the +1 button was designated solely for the search results page. In case you need a quick reminder, the +1 button allows users to recommend certain search results. +1 is Google’s next step in an attempt to beef up their social media influence (especially after Buzz’s relative flop).
Starting today, you have the option to insert a Google +1 button on your website , enabling visitors to endorse your page for friends. Up till now, the +1 has felt a little awkward, because chances are you are more likely to recommend a page you’ve actually visited, rather than just a blue link in a search result. The +1 button on websites makes much more sense.
Follow the Leader – Twitter Style
Not about to be outdone, Twitter today releases their Follow button. You might be thinking, “But doesn’t Twitter already HAVE a button? How many buttons do we really need here?” Now before you start ripping out your suit buttons and cufflinks in a demonstration of anti-button fury, let it be known that Twitter’s additional button does have a purpose.
The Tweet Button  is meant to share actual content, while the Follow button is meant to connect users with merely one click of a button.
Now, previously you could create Twitter follow buttons with the help of third party like ShareThis , but this would bring users to the tweeter’s profile page and you’d simply have to cross your fingers and hope users would find and click the follow button. Allowing this to all happen in one click makes it that much easier for visitors, and more importantly, keeps visitors on your page rather than sending them off to Twitter.
Twitter Photo Sharing in the Works
Twitter has been as busy as a bird in spring time, as reliable sources give the nod to rumors that Twitter plans on soon adding a photo sharing feature. This should have third-party clients Twitpic and Yfrog shaking in their boots, with Twitter Platform Lead Ryan Sarver warning developers to stay away from  building “client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.”
Naturally, Twitter has probably been irritated continuously witnessing third parties making revenue off of Twitter’s lacking functionality and decided to remedy the situation.
Tech Crunch also has it on good word  that Apple might be partnering up with Twitter for the new photo sharing endeavor. As Tech Crunch notes:
Specifically, we’re hearing that Apple’s new iOS 5 will come with an option to share images to Twitter baked into the OS. This would be similar to the way you can currently share videos on YouTube with one click in iOS.
With more people spending a frighteningly large amount of their time on smart phones , Twitter’s simple interface and easy ability to share with friends makes them a huge contender for smart phone use. People want to snap pics and share them on the internet instantly, and Twitter’s photo sharing plans will have them singing like a bird straight to the bank.
UPDATE: Twitter has officially announced  their plan to enable photo uploads with tweets, partnering with Photobucket to host the images. Expect to see this within the next few weeks.
Twitter is also heralding improved tweet search that shows more relevant tweets and related pictures and videos in the side panel.
In addition, there's a new Twitter-friendly Firefox browser. Twitter notes:
And if you use this new version of Firefox with Twitter, you can type a #hashtag or @username directly into the address bar to go right to a search results page (try #idol) or someone’s profile page (like @nba). Simple.
Check out Twitter's video introduction to the future photo sharing.
Why do sappy advertisements always get me a bit teary eyed? I feel so used!
Photo credit: Laineys Repertoire