Will Top Sites Dig Changes To Facebook's Like Button?

Facebook’s like button is about to undergo some drastic changes, but will they help or hurt the most widely used Facebook plug-in by the top 1,000 websites?

According to the latest BrightEdge SocialShare report, 25 percent of the top 1,000 sites have installed Facebook plug-ins, with the like button sitting atop the list.

BrightEdge added that the like and share plug-ins installed on the top 1,000 sites have accounted for more than 65 million likes and shares since their respective launches.

The social network’s transition to GraphRank from EdgeRank, and the changes it will bring to the plug-ins will likely increase functionality beyond just like and share.

But these changes will also complicate matters for marketers by evolving from a simple click on the like button to choosing from among a whole set of activity buttons.

The top ten Facebook social plug-ins, according to the BrightEdge SocialShare report:

  1. Like button: Allows users to share pages on their Facebook profiles with one click.
  2. Like box: Users can like Facebook pages and view streams directly via websites.
  3. Activity feed: Users see what their friends are doing on websites, via likes and comments.
  4. Recommendations: Personalized suggestions for content on websites that users may like.
  5. Log-in button: Allows users to log into Facebook, alongside pictures of friends who have already liked the website.
  6. Comments: Users can comment on any content on the website.
  7. Facepile: Displays profile pictures of Facebook users who have liked or signed up for websites.
  8. Send: Users can send content to friends with one click.
  9. Registration: Users can sign into websites via their Facebook accounts.
  10. Livestream: Allows users to share activity and comments in real-time during an event.

BrightEdge Chief Executive Officer Jim Yu said:

Changes to Facebook social plug-ins may be imminent, and this analysis shows how significant these features have become on the Web today. Very few features have achieved the massive scale of adoption that Facebook like and share buttons now see across the Internet. And the usage of these buttons is unprecedented in the history of the Web.

And the conclusion from the BrightEdge SocialShare report:

The expanded plug-in types offered by Facebook provide increased insight into user interest. Facebook’s network is expanding from a social graph of connections between people to an interest graph that reflects the social signals users are sending about their interests, opinions, and desires.

BrightEdge sees this change as a positive development for marketers. As we reported previously, social signals drive traffic, and social button adoption is increasing. Facebook is now offering increased relevance with which to measure and take action on this social signal stream.

Readers: Do you think the impending spinoffs from the like button will confuse users and marketers alike, or will they help interaction between the two parties?

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