Facebook’s ‘Like’ Obsession – Understanding Social Rules of Engagement

Facebook has made a huge change today. FB is launching ‘Like’ buttons for Pages (which will now replace ‘Become a Fan’)  and speculations are that web developers will be able to now embed ‘Like’ buttons on their websites.

Liking a Page means you are connecting to that Page. When you connect to a Page, it will appear in your profile and you will appear on the Page as a person who likes that Page. – source

Like Better than ‘Become a Fan’?

Becoming a fan is a commitment, while Liking something is an instant action. Frankly, I have never understood the real reasons (apart from ego boost) behind websites going so crazy about their Facebook pages and collecting fans [some companies have even used those numbers in their quarterly filing reports!].

facebook like button
Facebook's Like Button

Beyond the fan pages, what Facebook needs to achieve is democratize Digg’s simplistic Vote Up/Down feature and use its social layer to get people to share more [and publishers will attract more traffic owing to social sharing].

Lets say we implement FB’s ‘Like’ button and you liked this post – that goes in your stream, which in earlier case was not possible. You either had to leave a comment or publish the site url in your news feed – essentially call to actions that can be replaced with a simple ‘Like’ button.

This will help FB expand into several other websites where participation is happening, but aren’t being shared at Facebook.

A smart move, bundled with privacy concerns brings one’s web footprint into one single network – maybe, ripe for behavioral targeting? Only time will tell how Facebook will use this data to monetize efficiently, but for now Like does seem like a better option over the other sharing tools (did you know that Sharing Happens at Facebook and Twitter is Least Engaging Share Platform?).

So who owns your web? Google, Facebook or Twitter?

Action -> Like Pluggd.in

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