Facebook's 'Like' button evolves

It appears Facebook may care more about the marketing implications of its Like feature.

Facebook has made a subtle but important change to the functionality of its Like button that will transform the way you share on the site and on the Web as a whole.

Now when you click the Like button on a third-party site, a more detailed news story link--replete with image--is published with higher prominence on your feed. Previously, your friends only saw a one-sentence link that was easily lost in bustling social feeds.

That means the Like button has the same functionality as the Share button, but Facebook isn't giving up on the latter. Facebook spokeswoman Malorie Lucich told Mashable that the Share button will continue to live, but Like is the "recommended solution moving forward."

While this enhancement simplifies link-sharing, it may present some annoyances. For instance, if you're in the habit of Liking a lot of things, you run the risk of bloating your content stream and irritating your e-friends. Also, certain iterations of the Like button don't allow you to comment on what you favor, so you may be blasting out information sans context.

Since Facebook launched the Like button at last year's f8 conference, over 2.5 million Websites have integrated them, according to Inside Facebook.

Love it or loathe it, the updated Like button gives more eminence to third-party links, which should increase referral traffic and boost awareness--great news for marketers.

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Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
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