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Facebook “Like” Button Changes: Straight Wall Abuse

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Facebook Like Button ChangesI just recently read an article about Facebook’s new changes. I immediately began experiencing sweaty palms, a heart palpitation for two, and a look of confusion on my face that frightened my coworkers away. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that serious. But still, I had a moment.

Folks, the “like” button has changed. Remember when you could read an article over at, say, AdAge.com, and simply “like” it? Ahhh, the good ol’ days. Now, if you “like” that same article, it’ll go ahead and post the danged thing straight to your Facebook wall the same way that the “share” function does. (Sure, you’ve got to be logged in for this to happen, but come on… aren’t we all eternally logged in?). Oh, the joys of technology. Streamlined life at last.

So what the heck does this mean, anyway? From a marketing perspective, there are benefits that can’t be denied. This means longer exposure of content on the web, and a share ability unlike anything we’ve seen thus far. The content is also more visual, giving opportunities for an alert audience to see and connect to that shared page more immediately. It also means a stronger (and ridiculously immediate) tie in of social media across the web.

From a personal perspective and an avid Facebook user, I can’t help but be a little miffed. It isn’t because more things will post to my account. Heck, I’m fine with that! It is more that Facebook seems to “forget” to tell us, the users, these things. It also presents a bone to pick – will users be annoyed that their “likes” are now unfiltered?

Ultimately, it seems that Facebook might be losing focus on their purpose. Are they there for authentic social connections? Or are they becoming marketing minions? While yes, Facebook can be a powerful tool for marketers, this power comes from the authentic nature and actions of its’ users – users who might jump ship if they feel taken advantage of. After all, Facebook wasn’t designed to be a billboard. Or was it?

What do you think? Can Facebook find a balance between maintaining its comfort for users and encouraging marketing involvement? Or are they  losing focus on what makes Facebook unique?

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30 Responses to “Facebook “Like” Button Changes: Straight Wall Abuse”

  1. Lucas Hanyok on March 1st, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    We all know Facebook’s real goal is world domination. This is just another step, along with their email/messaging/chat integration. Soon enough Facebook will be THE internet.

  2. Rosie Sennett on March 1st, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    Years ago, direct marketing was all about “bingo cards”. A 5×7 card that you received in your mailbox, checked off the things you wanted to know about and sent it back to the marketer.nnThey push to one person at a time, ask for a time commitment (reading, checking, mailing) and the marketer then had to make the effort to send stuff out… maybe follow up with a phone call.nnSocial Networking is just that… its a constant flow of “word of mouth”. And it has created a world where “push” is no longer required. It has made it LESS obtrusive.nnIf I view an article, like this one, and I “like” it… I’m telling you and the web site and depending upon how the “like button” has been installed… I’m telling my fb friends who also stumble upon the article that I liked it… if they notice the list.nnThe added connectivity (which has been around for quite a while, mind you) now adds a quick mention on my profile and subsequently in the newsfeed of my friends… which is nice. Because I chose them all to be my friends and chose to share my likes and opinions with them on Facebook.nnThe tone of your article surprises me. I’d expect that if a feature had been added akin to the line on the bingo card where you give them names of people (without their permission) who might be interested in a product… which would initiate a cold call. nnThat’s not what this is. This is akin to me mentioning something in passing. It doesn’t give the marketer my friend’s information it just plants the seed in their head and they can go get it if they wish…nnI do have the choice. I can choose to click “like” or not. If I like it enough and have something clever to add… I might “Share” the article.nnIn this case, I disagree with the touch of cynicism so I’m choosing not to “like” the article… because while it has struck a chord enough for me to comment… Respectfully, yours isn’t an opinion I want to share.nnFacebook has become an institution in our world. It has good points and bad points… but one of the best things it has done is to change the face of Marketing and made it less invasive. what goes on my profile is put there with my action, and my consent… I “like” that very much.nnIn order to post this, I’m going to have to volunteer my email address… and frankly… I kind of resent that. It isn’t my choice… see what I mean?

  3. Rosie Sennett on March 1st, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    Years ago, direct marketing was all about “bingo cards”. A 5×7 card that you received in your mailbox, checked off the things you wanted to know about and sent it back to the marketer.

    They push to one person at a time, ask for a time commitment (reading, checking, mailing) and the marketer then had to make the effort to send stuff out… maybe follow up with a phone call.

    Social Networking is just that… its a constant flow of “word of mouth”. And it has created a world where “push” is no longer required. It has made it LESS obtrusive.

    If I view an article, like this one, and I “like” it… I’m telling you and the web site and depending upon how the “like button” has been installed… I’m telling my fb friends who also stumble upon the article that I liked it… if they notice the list.

    The added connectivity (which has been around for quite a while, mind you) now adds a quick mention on my profile and subsequently in the newsfeed of my friends… which is nice. Because I chose them all to be my friends and chose to share my likes and opinions with them on Facebook.

    The tone of your article surprises me. I’d expect that if a feature had been added akin to the line on the bingo card where you give them names of people (without their permission) who might be interested in a product… which would initiate a cold call.

    That’s not what this is. This is akin to me mentioning something in passing. It doesn’t give the marketer my friend’s information it just plants the seed in their head and they can go get it if they wish…

    I do have the choice. I can choose to click “like” or not. If I like it enough and have something clever to add… I might “Share” the article.

    In this case, I disagree with the touch of cynicism so I’m choosing not to “like” the article… because while it has struck a chord enough for me to comment… Respectfully, yours isn’t an opinion I want to share.

    Facebook has become an institution in our world. It has good points and bad points… but one of the best things it has done is to change the face of Marketing and made it less invasive. what goes on my profile is put there with my action, and my consent… I “like” that very much.

    In order to post this, I’m going to have to volunteer my email address… and frankly… I kind of resent that. It isn’t my choice… see what I mean?

  4. Rosie Sennett on March 1st, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    Years ago, direct marketing was all about “bingo cards”. A 5×7 card that you received in your mailbox, checked off the things you wanted to know about and sent it back to the marketer.

    They push to one person at a time, ask for a time commitment (reading, checking, mailing) and the marketer then had to make the effort to send stuff out… maybe follow up with a phone call.

    Social Networking is just that… its a constant flow of “word of mouth”. And it has created a world where “push” is no longer required. It has made it LESS obtrusive.

    If I view an article, like this one, and I “like” it… I’m telling you and the web site and depending upon how the “like button” has been installed… I’m telling my fb friends who also stumble upon the article that I liked it… if they notice the list.

    The added connectivity (which has been around for quite a while, mind you) now adds a quick mention on my profile and subsequently in the newsfeed of my friends… which is nice. Because I chose them all to be my friends and chose to share my likes and opinions with them on Facebook.

    The tone of your article surprises me. I’d expect that if a feature had been added akin to the line on the bingo card where you give them names of people (without their permission) who might be interested in a product… which would initiate a cold call.

    That’s not what this is. This is akin to me mentioning something in passing. It doesn’t give the marketer my friend’s information it just plants the seed in their head and they can go get it if they wish…

    I do have the choice. I can choose to click “like” or not. If I like it enough and have something clever to add… I might “Share” the article.

    In this case, I disagree with the touch of cynicism so I’m choosing not to “like” the article… because while it has struck a chord enough for me to comment… Respectfully, yours isn’t an opinion I want to share.

    Facebook has become an institution in our world. It has good points and bad points… but one of the best things it has done is to change the face of Marketing and made it less invasive. what goes on my profile is put there with my action, and my consent… I “like” that very much.

    In order to post this, I’m going to have to volunteer my email address… and frankly… I kind of resent that. It isn’t my choice… see what I mean?

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