Apr 22, 2010

The "like" revolution

Facebook users probably have noticed the recent explosion of "like" buttons on various Facebook pages, and now a new "like" plugin is popping up on other media sites. When clicked, the reader's interest in whatever he's reading or seeing will be automatically posted to his personal Facebook page.

From Time:
Facebook wants every page on the Web to have a "like" button, which they released at the conference. Each time you indicate you like something, that information is fed back to Facebook and then to the website you're on. Enough of your friends like the same restaurant on Yelp? You'll see that on Yelp.com and when you login to Facebook. Like this article? Click the like button on it and your friends may see your recommendation when they come to time.com.
What you "like" will also be shared with other databases, giving the web a way to read your preferences. This, of course, raises concerns about privacy. From the Atlantic:
Facebook will allow website developers to collect and use our information when we connect to a site. When I press the "like" button, that goes into a social clearinghouse of information. Other sites can see the articles I like on CNN, the music I like on Pandora, the food I like on Yelp ... and that's in addition to any information I make public on my Facebook profile. The Facebook team calls this application "Open Graph." You can call it the future of marketing.
Given Facebook's preeminent popularity online, this web within the Web could have Google-like implications for how information is shared and online ad dollars flow.

And since every website wants to be liked, expect to be inundated with overtures to share your attention and approval... Like this one I just got in my email box from ABC News: "Like ABCNews.com? Like Facebook? Check out our new integration: http://bit.ly/bEmqQ8"

All the world is a popularity contest.

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