Technology News: Social Networking: Facebook Likes Likes, Like, Even More

on 2011, BlogMarch 24th

Shared by anthony

This should be a great thing for brands and generate more engagement with brand pages on Facebook, especially since Facebook removed the option for users to share a facebook page with their friends, unless you set it up manually as a new tab with fbml (like we did on

Facebook has tweaked the function of its so-called Like button, think link users click to register approval or support of various messages, posts and profiles on the social networking site.

As it stands now, when you are on Facebook and decide to “Like” something — like a company’s Facebook page or an external news story — the only thing that happens is you get added to that external page’s “Like” list, and a small blurb gets posted to your Wall. However, the social networking site has revealed that it plans to shake things up by making it a bigger deal when you click on that four-lettered button.

‘Like’ Versus ‘Share’

One of the cornerstones of Facebook is its ability to integrate with third-party websites and developers. Anyone can add Facebook connectivity to his or her product. For example, every TechNewsWorld story has a link that allows users to “Share” the story with their friends. Clicking on the Share button lets users post a snippet of the article to their Wall, letting everyone else see it. That Wall post then also gets added to the News Feeds of the users’ friends.

What Facebook is proposing to do to the Like button is to add that same Share functionality. In other words, when you click on Like, you’ll be prompted to enter your own caption or comment about it. That generates an entire Wall post and puts that activity into the News Feed cycle. Right now, none of that happens. Clicking someone’s or something’s Like button just adds a terse line of text that quickly gets hidden in your Wall and does not appear in anyone’s News Feed.

It’s a bit complicated, but really what it all boils down to is instead of having separate buttons for “Like” and “Share,” Facebook is basically merging all of the Share button’s functionality into the Like button.

Facebook did not immediately return our requests seeking comment.

Corporate Motivations

This move is likely motivated by marketing and promotional strategy, Travis Hodges, a social media specialist and account executive at Drum Marketing, told TechNewsWorld.

“Companies love it when a Facebook user clicks on their Like button. It gives them access to that user, enabling them to send out special offers or promotional messages. But the one thing that’s missing here is the viral factor, which is such a huge part of Facebook” said Hodges. “If I was a marketer, I’d be saying, ‘It’s great that John Smith just clicked on our Like button, but I want all of John Smith’s friends to see that, and encourage them to visit our site as well.'”

This is a rare move forward in which there isn’t any real backlash, Ian Lurie, founder of Internet marketing firm Portent Interactive.

“The great thing about this is I don’t really see it upsetting anyone who uses Facebook,” he told TechNewsWorld. “It’s not violating your privacy, because your Like activity has always shown up in your Wall. It’s a boon for corporate Facebook users without too much backlash from the individual users.”

Why Facebook Should Avoid ‘Like Creep’

The only possible issues that could arise are that users may become confused over the difference between Share and Like, said Lurie, and their News Feeds could become more cluttered. However, he noted, they’re already very cluttered anyway.

Facebook has said it will continue to support the Share button, but it would prefer users to start using the Like button as the de facto way to say “Hey, this is cool, I want to share it with my friends.”

In fact, Facebook might be getting too obsessed with the idea of “Liking” stuff, added Hodges.

“Facebook needs to realize when to stop … It could soon reach a point where users are liking everything with a Facebook button,” he said. “We might even see people Liking the fact that someone else Likes something. If it reaches this point, then the entire system will be useless. It’s a delicate balancing act.”

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Technology News: Social Networking: Facebook Likes Likes, Like, Even More

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