Today 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.