Facebook: Share and Share a-Like…

 

Well, they’ve done it again. Facebook has changed the rules of the playground once more, which is easy to do when you’re the ones who have created the playground! The latest update tweaks the way the “Like” button works on third-party sites.

Now when you click the “Like” button on a participating site or within an app, it inserts the headline, a segment of the story and an associated image for all to see. Previously, it simply published just a single line under Recent Activity.

What’s effectively changed is that Facebook is no longer developing the “Share” button functionality. The result is that more referral traffic will be driven to third-party sites that choose to link up with Facebook.  If anything, this adjustment will force us to think a second longer before we click that “Like” button. Do we truly want ALL of our friends to see that we like that particular story?

Previously, you could simply “Share” news but it didn’t necessarily get categorized as being something you actually liked. This can lead to some awkward moments. For example, I saw a note in a related forum about a scenario regarding a co-worker who had passed away. To share the news, his friends posted the story. The unfortunate result was:

Dave ********* passed away due to his long battle with cancer. 46 people Like this.

So, there are definitely some kinks that Facebook needs to iron out. Eventually, the modification should benefit users, Facebook and their partners equally. From my standpoint, I like the fact that (hopefully) compelling content will be more readily available. After all, the point is to initiate dialogue among friends, right?

So, a few third-party sites will see increased traffic along the way. I can handle that. What’s your take? 

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