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Should you Like Facebook’s new Like feature?

April 20, 2010

We knew it was coming. Facebook was changing ‘fan’ to ‘like’.

Here is their note (it appeared at the top of Pages):

“Introducing the Like button. Starting today people will be able to connect with your Page by clicking “Like” rather than “Become a Fan.” We hope this action will feel much more lightweight, and that it will increase the number of connections made across the site.”

So what does that mean? It means Facebook is really after the content in your social graph. They already sort of get it with your interests. For example, I’m interested in Tom Robbins books, so Tom Robbins Books is a link on my Facebook profile.

But I never click it. And even if I do, I don’t really connect to other people who are fans. And I’m probably not alone. so while there’s a potential social graph out there, surely Facebook has noticed it’s not getting graphed.

These are called “Community Pages”. Here’s Facebook again, with a definition:

“Community Pages are a new type of Page that enable you to see what people are saying about the things that matter to you, and discover the friends and people who share these connections with you. They are similar to any other Page to which you can connect, although they won’t generate stories in your News Feed, and won’t be maintained by a single author. Where available, they also show Wikipedia content for the relevant topic, which Facebook has licensed under the creative commons license.”

Okay. So Community pages are places where people talk about the things you’re interested in. Sounds like a big water cooler, or something.

But it really does mean the social graph is getting plotted. Here’s what they say after this line:

“We think your experience on Facebook will improve as your profile is turned into a living map of all the connections that matter to you, instead of a static list of your interests.”

(Emphasis mine).

So what does this mean for Brand pages?

I don’t think anything. I’ve often thought that the word fan was a little too strong. Like is more simple, and gives marketers a chance to use better language. “You’ll like the special offers you’ll find on Facebook” becomes a compelling reason to”like” a page.

Facebook wants your social data. It wants to know your interests, your likes, your friends, your status. This isn’t nefarious, they just want to deliver a better experience. One that is more than just being about a destination to share status.

I find it interesting that 10 years ago, I really protected my e-mail address. If a marketer wanted it, they had to give me something for it. These days, with the amount of data out there about me, my e-mail address isn’t even valuable.

So, what do you think of Facebook’s like button? Will you like brands more? Or is this a matter of semantics?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 20, 2010 11:04 pm

    Personally I think the change from ‘fan’ to ‘like’ is further evidence of the chickification of social media. After all, ‘fan’ is a masculine term, while ‘like’ is feminine. 8)

    Now to be more serious, based on my stats on fan pages, the term fan is still used. I guess they could change those over time but right now I believe this is a test to see if more people will click on ‘like’ versus ‘fan’. I hope they did some A/B testing on this and had some proof that this will work.

    I haven’t had a chance to talk with any of the client in which I manage their fan pages but I will be watching closely if we see any changes in the number of sign ups per week.

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