April 22, 2011

Happy birthday to Facebook’s Like button


Ayelet NoffToday a year ago, Facebook introduced its Like button. Such a simple yet genius idea enabling Facebook to learn what every user’s interests are. In one year, more than 2.5 websites have integrated Facebook’s like button on their websites, giving Facebook the ability to not only gather information about its users on its own site but also gather information about them from all over the Internet. In this manner, Facebook had conquered the Web.

People’s behavior with the Like button is quite interesting to study and might not necessarily always be accurate, though, for a “like” can be given not because someone was actually interested in something but rather as a token of appreciation, or worse, peer pressure. Despite the fact that the like algorithm might be faulty in certain situations, overall the like algorithm seems to be working well, serving you information through your news feed that you have previously claimed to liking.

Some have complained about not having a dislike button as well, but I believe there is a reason for why the dislike button is not created. It’s because, after all, Facebook is a social community and in order to survive there needs to be positivity in the air. Negative energy can only lead to negative content which in turn would harm such a network.

The Like button also serves another purpose, though. Why is it that people share information with others? To get feedback. Humans thrive on feedback. By liking someone’s content, you are giving him affirmation that you liked and approved of the content he shared. How many times have you shown off with the number of likes you got on a status you posted? The more likes you get, the more accepted you feel in the group. It’s really high school all over again, a popularity contest. And this feedback of liking someone’s sharings also creates a more cohesive network.

I believe that the Like button is one of Facebook’s greatest inventions and one that would make sure Facebook stays the conqueror of the Web for a while.

Ayelet Noff is a partner in Socialmedia.biz and founder and Co-CEO of Blonde 2.0, an award winning digital PR agency with branches in Boston and Tel Aviv. Contact Ayelet via The Blonde 2.0 website , email, or follow her on Twitter and Google Plus.

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5 thoughts on “Happy birthday to Facebook’s Like button

  1. Very straight forward post and direct to the point. Good job.
    One additional common use of the Facebook Like button is for Voting purposes, the Like button guarantees uniqueness, and also help spread the message.

    Thank you and I would be looking out for more posts from you,

  2. The like button is the most minimal form of feedback you can get. It dumbs down feedback to the lowest level possible. The engagement is almost non-existent. Is that a good thing? Wouldn't you rather have a comment? Or people that take the time to comment rather than just click?

    The like button is just another version of “poke” it often just says “I was here” to your friends… Nothing wrong with that but it's often not much more than that either.

    • Tom, I agree that the feedback is minimal and that a comment would be preferable. But I think people are beginning to understand that the Like button is a lightweight version of a Recommend, because folks see that a Like appears in their news feed.

      As the Web becomes increasingly social, these little social plug-ins that make sharing a part of everyday life as becoming invaluable. Tens of billions of Likes later, I don't think we're any worse for it, given our increasingly frenetic lives.

  3. I agree with you @jdlasica. Great points there! But the challenge is to create a conversation between the Page admin and the fans and eventually convert them into leads (customer,client). Facebook marketing is not about getting tons of fans or likers but its about conversation and convertion (from fans to leads)..

  4. Facebook like button is my favorite social media tool, just change from like to recommend and place on your website. Helps a lot with your web traffic. Imagine that 10 000 web sites join Facebook every single day.