Recently some of you may have noticed that Facebook changed it’s “Become a Fan” button to a “Like” button. The thinking behind this is that it is less of a commitment to “like” something or someone than it is to become a “fan”. Being a fan implies a certain level of engagement with a brand or person. You may be willing to tell the world that you are a “fan” of Whole Foods or U2, but you may only “like” M&Ms. Are you and M&Ms casual acquaintances or in a committed relationship? This move opens the doors for users to feel comfortable connecting with more brands.
Another reason behind this move is Facebook’s new integration with the Open Graph Protocol. According to the www.opengraphprotocol.org this: “enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. For instance, this is used on Facebook to enable any web page to have the same functionality as a Facebook Page”.
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In essence, this means that by inserting a few simple <meta> tags into your page header and inserting a facebook “like” button on your website with one line of html you can turn your page into a “graph object” which can be found and tied to the social graph. There a also a few other social plug-ins you can utilize, such as an activity feed or recommendations (see more here http://developers.facebook.com/plugins).
What does this all mean? It means that users can establish connections to you and your brand across the entire web, and tie it back to their facebook profile. Facebook becomes a vast repository of everything you and your friends “like”. I find it hard not to think of it as the broadest marketing research experiment ever undertaken. And all users have to do is “like” stuff.
The negatives, as always with Facebook, relate back to privacy. Any user who is not on top of their privacy setting can cry foul. Yes, you are telling your friends that you like Bon Jovi, you may be telling BMG and Sony as well. I personally don’t have huge issues with the privacy issue, but I am in marketing so I may be biased.
Overall, I think it is an extremely intriguing move and I for one cannot wait to see what the adoption rate looks like. I “like” it.
What about you? Does this move make you nervous? Excited? Angry? Tell us.
Read More about the Like Button:
Why I Like the Like Button: Spreading Nonprofit Messages