Google+ is still in limited "Field Trial" mode, which is fancy for "beta version". That means that Google+ is still very much a work in progress, and that teams of developers at Google are hard at work tweaking and implementing new features for the social network. One such tweak that has been introduced during the series is a significant change for .
The +1 button has been around for a while now. Mostly, though, it has been a simple mechanism for gauging the value of a given site or article based on the number of +1 votes it has. If I am looking at two similar articles, and one has three +1s while the other has 323 +1s, I am more likely to click on the one with the 323 +1s.
Google is getting ready to take the now. Instead of simply adding my +1 to the tally of +1 votes, I now have a text field that pops up to enable me to share the content on Google+ as well.
I can still just +1 the old-fashioned way, but now a box pops up that says "Share on Google+". If I click in this box, it expands to become a larger text-entry field to share the Web page with Google+. I can enter a comment into the text field, and choose which Circles or individuals on Google+ to share the content with, then click the Share button.
When the content is displayed on Google+, it is identified as originating from a +1. For example, an article I +1'd about protecting your privacy against supercookies by a PCWorld peer shows up on Google+ with the text "+1'd on " at the top.