Facebook is slowly rolling out a new version of its ‘like’ button for publishers. The change won’t be extremely dramatic though as all the adjustments are cosmetic. The new button looks slightly different but seems to offer the same basic functionality, allowing publishers to prompt readers to ‘like’ the post on Facebook without leaving the publisher’s site.
The main difference between the old and the new versions is that the number of people who have liked the post is more integrated into the design, as TechCrunch pointed out a couple days ago. Publishers may also appreciate the fact that the button matches other social sharing buttons such as the one for Twitter.
It seems that the new version does make it slightly more difficult to ‘unlike’ a post. Publishers probably won’t mind this but users might be irked by it. The new button is only showing on random sites at present, however we’re seeing an increasing number of the new Like button appear around the web. At this stage, it doesn’t appear as though the new button design will affect publishers ability to select and customize several variations of the button.
A Facebook spokesperson said: “We’ve begun rolling out new variations of the Like button to make it more seamless for people to like content and share it with their friends. We’ll have additional details to share in the coming weeks.”
The ‘like’ button has proved extraordinarily popular with website publishers because it can increase visibility of content on Facebook, without losing traffic to the social networking site. Facebook launched the ‘like’ button in April and 5,000 websites added it, and related social plug-ins, within the first week.