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This has nothing to do with a UI improvement.

The change is just a way to force users to use the "share me" buttons so google can benefit by promoting G+ or controlling the flow any way it wants. Its a good way to keep track of user flow/spread of links whereas copy-pasting a link to an IM hides that information.

In general this change doesnt have to do with bad UI good UI just pressure to use a more controlled web experience. URLs are good UI, they have extra info and the more experienced user can even manipulate them to everyone's benefit

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