Facebook launched the “Like” button in February 2009 after it had already been implemented by Friendfeed five months prior. It has since become widely popular on many websites to share their content with friends on Facebook.
Facebook has found a clever way to make their social network a hub of information. With the latest ‘Open Graph’ strategy which the company announced in 2010 they offer a set of widgets (=Social Plug-ins) which you can add into any website or page. The Like button, which basically shares content you found on the net with your friends on Facebook, leaves a trail of what you’ve been reading and enjoying on the net.
Advantages for your web presence
If you have a website, you can make use of the most important of those Social Plug-ins, the Like button. It is easy to add to your site and as soon as one visitor clicks ‘Like’ any of their friends will see it on their news feed on Facebook. This will sooner or later lead to more traffic to your website.
This is a free tool to use to have your content go viral as friends recommend it to their friends etc. and you don’t even have to have a Facebook account to make use of its feature.
The Like button on Facebook
By now you will have seen the Like button all over Facebook. Every post or comment now offers the option with a simple click. This is comparable to how you rate a restaurant or a movie with stars (up to five for the best). Many users have asked for a ‘dislike’ button but Facebook excluded this option ‘under the pretense that likes were added as a quick way to replace simple one-word comments’ (according to news.cnet.com). Personally I think a dislike button would just increase the dynamics of cyber-bullying and create more reason to feel offended rather than add clarity or transparency.
In the past you had to click on ‘Become a Fan’ or ‘Join this group’ to become a member of either a business page or a group page. Nowadays it’s simply the ‘Like’ button that you will see on top of those pages.
In other areas the button has replaced the ‘share’ option. If you click the button on any place on the Facebook site itself or the worldwide web your friends will know. Be careful whom you want to share your likes with…