Facebook: It’s getting ‘Like’ confusing

Facebook has recently made two changes to the social networking website. One is a new ‘Like’ button that can be embedded on other websites and enables sharing of content. The other change removes the traditional Fan Page and changes ‘Become a Fan’ to ‘Like’.  Using the same term for distinctly different applications could lead to confusion with users.

According to the New York Times, Facebook has created a universal ‘Like’ button that Web publishers will be able to add to their websites.  It has significantly more functionality than previous content sharing buttons.

For example, not only will the new ‘Like’ button allow Facebook to keep a record of the links liked by each Facebook user, it could also allow non-editorial sites such as Yelp to show users how many of their friends enjoyed a particular restaurant or business. Clicking the new ‘Like’ button on a website outside of Facebook will default to a Facebook user’s public profile and act as an implied recommendation.

There are significant implications for advertisers. Today, Facebook targets ads based on what information users fill out in their profile, including location, age, gender, favorites and fan pages.  With the new ‘Like’ button, Facebook may make targeting available based on self-selected preferences. Facebook members recommending things they “like,” will make it easy for Facebook to target advertising toward users “most liked” items filtered by their Facebook friends.

“Facebook potentially could power an all-knowing behavioral-targeting platform the likes of which we’ve never seen before,” said Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus, a New York-based strategic marketing agency.

The other change is a language change. For businesses with a fan page, users will connect with them by clicking ‘Like’ rather than ‘Become a Fan.’

Facebook claims this is a part of a larger effort to improve user experience, increase engagement and promote consistency. Facebook did some research and found out the users are more likely to “Like” something instead of becoming a fan.

Detractors say that if there is any increase in ‘Liking’ a Page versus ‘Becoming a Fan’, it is due to confusion users are experiencing over the language change. ‘Liking’ a page from a company isn’t the same as ‘Liking’ a friend’s status update. Instead you are connecting to that page and it will appear in your profile.  There is not an associated ‘Unlike’ button so removing the connection to a company’s Facebook page may prove to be challenging.

Asking people to ‘Become a Fan’ sounded more professional to me. If you have an idea on how to sound more professional than ‘Like Our Fan Page’, let us know. Until then, I know this sounds weird but…Please like us on Facebook.

13 Responses to “Facebook: It’s getting ‘Like’ confusing”

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    August 30, 2010 at 4:27 am

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  2. April 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I drop a comment each time I like a article on a website or if I have something to valuable to contribute to the discussion.

    Usually it is triggered by the passion displayed in the post I read.
    And on this article Facebook: It’s getting ‘Like’ confusing
    | The Side Note. I was actually moved enough to drop a comment 😉
    I do have 2 questions for you if it’s okay. Is it simply me or does it seem like some of these remarks come across like left by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting at other places, I’d like to keep up with you.
    Would you list the complete urls of your social sites like
    your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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