This afternoon Facebook announced a number of upgrades to their Facebook likes. The changes will impact developers, page administrators, and users. Below is a list of the things that you need to know about these new changes.
There’s A New Option For Like Button Layouts
One of the most significant changes is the introduction of a new “Box count” layout for like buttons. While it’s a minor design change, some sites prefer using a box layout in their design. While this may seem minor, a like button which is double the size makes it a much larger call to action.
Developers Can Let Users Like Canvas Pages
Like buttons just became the new distribution channel for developers. Applications can have users like pages within an application. Each new like also becomes a new distribution channel. As we’ve covered before, publishers can contact any liker who has ever liked anything on their site, and the same goes for application developers.
You Can Like Virtual Items
Even more significant is the ability to like objects which don’t necessarily exist within a physical page on a website. That means developers (and marketers) can have users like virtual objects and then develop targeted messages that work best for people who liked those objects. While I have yet to see this technique successfully implemented it present a massive opportunity for both developers and marketers in general.
Like Buttons Can Link To Pages
Another large upgrade was that generic like buttons can now link to pages. That means you can embed a like button that doesn’t necessarily say the name of your page, however when the user clicks it, that’s exactly what they’ll end up liking. My guess is that this is an attempt by Facebook to not only grand page administrators greater flexibility when promoting their page, but also a subtle way to increase page promotion.
Additionally, Facebook has made it less complicated to like a page by entering the URL of a page when the like button is created in their like button wizard, rather than searching for the page ID.
Less Easy To Determine What You’re Liking
One of the most interesting aspects of the new like button is that there is no disclaimer about what you are liking. While this was already the case, the ability to like pages means that websites can now mislead users into believing they are liking an article, when in reality, they are liking a website. It’s not a huge issue as Facebook likes aren’t likely to damage your reputation permanently, however it’s still a loophole in the Facebook liking system.