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Facebook: The "Like" button

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Piggybacking on the other Facebook thread posted today, I've contended for a while that the "Like" button - Facebook's answer to re-Tweets - has changed the site for the worse. Whereas people used to actively engage on topics that interested them, fostering discussion threads that could be thought-provoking, now most people seem to just push the "Like" button and get on their merry way. I have also read the criticism that its existence homogenizes posts. Certain types of posts - particularly certain types of non-controversial posts - are more likely to draw "Likes," and so people subconsciously begin crafting their posts to draw them.

    Don't get me wrong: I use it, too. I think it has utility. I appreciate when people use it for my posts. But I think that, comparing the site with the Like button and without the Like button, it would be a better site without it.

  2. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    I don't know. I use Like for posts that would have generally been one word in the past ("Cool!" or ":)") Otherwise, I don't think it's replaced commenting on posts (not that I do a whole ton of either).
  3. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Like posts are valuable because they help improve the personal experience we have. Lets say we are buddies and I post something on FB. You don't necessarily have something to say, but you are interested or happy about it. By clicking the "like" you are telling Facebook you have a stronger relationship with your buddy than someone who didn't. Facebook calls this your "affinity score". The higher the affinity score is, the more likely content from that person is likely to show up in your newsfeed. This is why you see more posts from certain people than others. You are basically opting in.

    This works for brands too. Just like friends compete for space in your feed, brands do as well. When brands craft posts to get "likes" or more importantly, comments and shares, they are trying to increase affinity to get into news feeds. The brands aren't taking space from human users (like you and I). Only a set number of posts from brands will show up in your feed (algorithm based on number of users you have friended and brands you follow). A brand that does a good job and builds affinity, gets into a news feed, extending reach and building affinity scores with others, or increasing them with fans who already see the posts. Brands that do poorly lose out and other brands fill the void.

    Basically, without the like button, Facebook would have an even worse advertising model for brands and they wouldn't be able to distinguish between important/non-important material. Our newsfeeds would be a constant rush of updates, just like Twitter - but with more characters.
  4. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    I don't like it.
  5. Diego Marquez

    Diego Marquez Member

    A dislike button would change Facebook for the better.
  6. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Damn, I messed this up.

    It should have said: Like, I don't like it.
  7. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    I think it's odd how oftentimes posts of bad news (not horrible, just the "stuck in a 2-hour traffic jam on I-95" kind) will receive a Like.

    Basically, they just mean, "I feel for ya!", but it looks like, "We like that you're stuck in traffic!"
  8. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    The only things I've liked are my employers' various pages.

    Facebook is not a place for substantive discourse, though. It's a place to troll your friends. That makes it slightly different from here, a place to troll people you don't know and generally dislike.
  9. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    A couple of years ago the paper I worked at ran a heartbreaking story about parents who were arrested after shooting and uploading to YouTube a video of their kids being forced to fight (and other atrocities). The details were more sickening as you continued to read. At the bottom of the story was this:

    Be the first to Like this.
  10. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    So I'm pretty happy with this whole "verbal communication" invention, but I'm worry about the introduction of "facial expressions." Won't that just take away from conversations?
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I think if there was a dislike button, you would see tons of people quit FB very quickly.
  12. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I think that you're so anxious to accuse someone of making a "get off my lawn" assertion that you miss the thrust here: I like online discussion. I don't like online discussion reduced to a "Like" button. Actually, it's even more nuanced than that. I don't mind the "Like" button. I think that the "Like" button, however, takes away from discussion what it grants in ease, which also has value.

    Nothing at all Luddite-ist about that assertion. Facebook makes mistakes, too. And they make them even if you begin with the premise that online discourse is a perfectly acceptable version of human discourse and even an improvement, in many ways.
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