The Like Button Turns One (Happy Birthday!)

11 May

Facebook Like Icon - Thumbs Up, Number 1Okay, so I am about a little late covering this, but that doesn’t make the news any less interesting, right?  Facebook’s Like Button turned one year old on April 22.  According to SocialMedia.biz:

In one year, more than 2.5 websites have integrated Facebook’s like button on their websites, giving Facebook the ability to not only gather information about its users on its own site but also gather information about them from all over the Internet. In this manner, Facebook had conquered the Web.

Aragog coming out of his lair with Harry Potter and Ron WeaslyI’m just going to assume that that means 2.5 million websites… When Facebook started, it was its own walled garden.  What happens on Facebook, stays on Facebook, so to speak.  But, in recent years, Facebook has expanded its footprint and, through like and share, begun to spread itself across the web.  I like to think of Facebook as a giant spider growing ever bigger and taking over larger and larger parts of the web.  (Get it, web?)  You know, like Aragog…

Anyway, about the Like Button… As SociaMedia explains, clicking the like button isn’t really about liking the status (in that you enjoy it), but about giving feedback.  It’s the easiest way of acknowledging a friend’s status update.  Explaining the Like Button and its role in giving feedback, SocialMedia really explains social networking in general.

The Like button also serves another purpose, though. Why is it that people share information with others? To get feedback. Humans thrive on feedback. By liking someone’s content, you are giving him affirmation that you liked and approved of the content he shared. How many times have you shown off with the number of likes you got on a status you posted? The more likes you get, the more accepted you feel in the group. It’s really high school all over again, a popularity contest. And this feedback of liking someone’s sharings also creates a more cohesive network.

It's All About Me!Social networking is all about sharing your thoughts, feelings, and interests and having them affirmed.  We pretend that it’s about connecting with others, but it’s really about them connecting with us.  So, I going to go promote this post on Facebook now.  If you all could like it, that’d be great.


MaggieCakes is a blog about culture, social media, and what’s new on the Internet culture. Every day (okay, I try for every day) I comb blogs and news outlets for the news about Internet culture and social media to bring them to you (with my commentary, of course) here on MaggieCakes. MaggieCakes is hosted by WordPress and often draws upon Slate, Jezebel, The Hair Pin, and SocialTimes for links and inspiration. My post Social Media and the Art of Storytelling was featured on Freshly Pressed, bringing a whole new readership to my blog. Find anything interesting in the worlds of culture or social media that you’d like to see a post on? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail at 2maggieotoole@gmail.com.

5 Responses to “The Like Button Turns One (Happy Birthday!)”

  1. georgettesullins May 11, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Don’t Like, but Love the spider comparison.

  2. Porter Jacobs May 12, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Isn’t it true that the actual “like” button as you described it (to acknowledge a status) has been around for quite some time; it is the “like” button that replaced the “become a fan” option (to follow businesses on Facebook) that is a year old?

    • Maggie May 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

      Hmmm. You may be right. I’ll look into it. Thanks!

  3. Gypsy Queen May 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I think the Like button is more of an “i was here” kind of thing. It’s so low effort that I’d always rather get comments than likes. But some things don’t bring up strong enough thoughts for a comment, so I just hit the Like button 🙂

    • Maggie May 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

      I’d rather get comments than likes, too. But, I’d rather get likes than no feedback at all.

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