Facebook – What is the Like button?

Facebook launched the “Like” button in February 2009 after Friendfeed had already implemented it five months earlier. Since then, it has become very popular on many websites to share their content with friends on Facebook.

Social plugins

Facebook has found a clever way to turn your social network into an information hub. With the latest ‘Open Graph’ strategy that the company announced in 2010, they offer a set of widgets (= social plugins) that you can add to any website or page. The Like button, which basically shares the 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 plugins, the Like button. It’s easy to add to your site and as soon as a visitor clicks “Like” any of your friends will see it on your Facebook feed. Sooner or later, this will generate more traffic to your website.

This is a free tool to make your content go viral as friends recommend it to their friends etc. and you don’t even need to have a Facebook account to use this feature.

The Like button on Facebook

By now, you will have seen the Like button all over Facebook. Each post or comment now offers the option with a simple click. This is comparable to how you rate a restaurant or movie with stars (up to five for the best). Many users have asked for a ‘dislike’ button, but Facebook excluded this option ‘on the pretext that likes were added as a quick way to replace simple one-word comments’ (according to news.cnet.com). Personally, I think that a dislike button would only increase the dynamics of cyberbullying and create more reasons to be offended rather than add clarity or transparency.

In the past, you had to click ‘Become a fan’ or ‘Join this group’ to become a member of a business page or group page. Today it is simply the ‘Like’ button that you will see at the top of those pages.

In other areas, the button has replaced the ‘share’ option. If you click the button anywhere on the Facebook site or on the world wide web, your friends will know. Be careful who you want to share your tastes with …

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