Last week at the Facebook Developers Conference (termed f8) they released a simple yet powerful feature called the Like button. In a single line of code any website can become part of the massive Facebook matrix instantly. Sites such as the Wall Street Journal are already serving up Like buttons and it adds a whole new dimension. Now when you see an article on cnn.com and notice some of friends Like an article, you can judge the social context of the article. Is the article “liked” by your business friends, family friends or friends that like tabloid trash.
The Like button concept is not new. It’s been around for years, digg.com was one of the early social news aggregators. Digg over the past few years has been sputtering around and it’s CEO Jay Adelson was shown the door early this month. Kevin Rose, the founder, is back at the helm and was the internet poster child in 2006 when he was on the cover of BusinessWeek. As for digg, I see more and more sites adding the Like button and will most likely have it along side the digg button and other similar buttons. But honestly, who is going to sit there and press 2 or 3 buttons. I see someone pressing one button if they like an article and that button will be the Facebook Like one. I also see Facebook working with big content providers and “suggesting” they have only one button – theirs.
It’s a brilliant strategy too extend Facebook’s reach beyond the facebook.com domain. An example of someone executing this concept one step further is the site http://likebutton.me. It aggregates all your friends that have “Liked” stories and overlays it onto an easy to view grid.