Thoughts on the New Facebook Like Button
When I first heard about Facebook moving away from the “Become a Fan” option and over to the “I Like” option I didn’t know what to think.
I had conversations with several people within the Internet Marketing community and found multiple opinions on how it would impact the normal Facebook user.
Some people thought it would be detrimental to the value and that it would negatively impact the companies since they’d no longer be able to brag about how many “fans” they had on their “fan page.”
There were others who didn’t think it would have much of an impact, and yet others who thought it was a good thing.
I personally think that beyond giving Facebook an incredible amount of unique profile information of its user base, which is going to make them even more powerful, it’s also going to help businesses numbers increase instead of decrease.
How you ask? Well I think this simple change in terminology lowers the barrier to entry and will make the decision to join much easier.
I’ve historically received many suggestions to become a fan of (insert name of company, interest, or celebrity here) every single day. When I go through the decision making process of whether I want to click either “confirm” or “ignore,” I ask myself whether I truly am a “Fan” of that page. Most of the time I don’t have any idea what it is and simply click “ignore.”
If a page doesn’t fall in the “unknown” category … I then look at the name of the person who sent the request and see if they fall in the category of someone who joins everything and simply suggests that all their friends follow them.
I know I may put too much thought into what I join and what I don’t, but why shouldn’t I?
It’s my news stream and I have the right to keep it full of relevant information that I am interested in. I also feel as though my social networking profiles are valuable and if I am truly being authentic and transparent, why the heck would I profess to my network that I am a “fan” of something when I’m truly not.
Fast forward to Monday, April 19th when Facebook implemented the change.
Now if someone suggests you join a page you simply click a button that says, “I like.”
This simple change in verbiage psychologically makes the decision much easier for me. The word “fan” is short for fanatic. I can certainly “like” something without being a fanatic. 🙂
Beyond lowering the psychological barrier there are a couple other things that Facebook has in store for us.
There is a new tool Facebook has created that will allow you to place a snippet of code on your website, blog, or any other piece of content which will display a “like” button. When someone clicks on that button they’ll become a “liker” of your site. 🙂
I think this will drive the numbers on your pages because someone may simply read an article or blog post you’ve created and click the “like” button because you wrote a nice article. This simply action will tie them to you and you to their news stream.
I read an article about this functionality and the author pointed out how there is currently a flaw in the way this works which could potentially allow spammers to exploit it to build large fan counts.
The problem is when you are creating your snippet of code using the Facebook tool, you have the option to enter in the address of what the person is “liking,” and that displays within your stream as you take the action.
If you happened to simply click the button and didn’t pay attention, you may find that although you clicked a “like” button on a Mixed Martial Arts page, you’ve unknowingly said you “liked” the Hanna Montana show. 🙂
I am sure there will be other flaws that pop up and even functionality modifications as time goes by, but I believe Facebook has the right people on the job, and they seem to pay attention to the user behavior as they make enhancements.
Facebook is also creating community pages.
This is something which isn’t fully rolled out yet, but from what I can tell, community pages are going to be the answer to people identifying their hobbies and interests like “cooking,” “sleeping,” “walking in the rain,” etc.
They have elevated the prominence of the things you “like” and also the other data in your profile. A perfect example is I noticed that Grand Rapids Michigan, which is the city I live in, has a link to it from my profile to a community page.
The community page has a bunch of information about Grand Rapids which comes directly from Wikipedia, and it also contains status updates which contain “Grand Rapids Michigan” in them. They offer updates that have been posted by my friends, and also globally.
I think it’s too early to tell how community pages are going to develop, but I think it is going to be exciting to watch them morph and see how people begin to use them.
I’d love to hear what you think about the new Facebook like button, or any uses you’ve found in the short time since it’s been implemented onto the Facebook platform. If you’ve got something to say … leave a comment! 🙂