April 30, 2010

Facebook likes the web

Picture this, when we were small, we often used to say 'I like Amul chocolate', then as we grew, it became 'I like Pepsi', further in college it became more about 'I like you', then somewhere in 2004, Facebook evolved
and since then the meaning of Like has changed! Now, it's about 'I Like this page, that page, etc.' Everyday you get to see many of your Facebook friends liking this or that. All this was still fine as long as it was confined withing the blue walls of Facebook. But now, Facebook has decided to extend the Like of all Likes beyond its territory. So ,let's see what this exactly means and what implications will it bring along with this new change.

Liking the web:
Facebook has introduced a universal 'Like' button that web publishers, which is similar to their 'Share' button and can be put on their pages.
Facebook says that through this new development they are simply reacting to changing norms about how public we want our lives to be. Now you must be wondering how's that going to impact us? Well, although this sounds a small addition, it can have big implications in the time to come. Google would surely be watching Facebook's liking for the web very closely as this poses threat to their dominance on the web.

So, what exactly is the motive behind all this liking stuff? Well, the Like button will allow Facebook to keep a record of what a user linked to, providing more data about user preferences. Facebook, in turn, plans to share that data with web publishers, so that they do target based advertising. E.g. a sports website may be able to show users all the articles that their friends liked on sports and thus enjoy user time on their website with a correlated possibility of ad conversions.

Like Implications:
  1. It will make life easier for the publishers to offer more social experiences by allowing Facebook friends to enjoy those sites together.
  2. It makes it simple for users logged into Facebook to update their profiles and show their liked activities on their profiles.
  3. But with all this easy sharing stuff there is a concern that Facebook in a bid to dominate the web will play with our privacy. It's like asking - "Why would I want everyone to know what I have done, where I am going, what am I eating, or what my favorite travel places are without me knowing?"
It'll be interesting to see whether Facebook's Like will change our web behaviour in the time to come. For now with all said and done, I am trying out the Like button here on maktion and would like to see the response. If you like this post or any other post, feel free to click the Like button that you see below.

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