Facebook’s Like Button
and the future of Sharing
The future, or at least the very immediate future of social networking is going to take shape over the next few weeks.
Massive change is upon us all, as we watch the development and trends within social networking the industry is abuzz with anticipation ( and a healthy dose of speculation!)
You can’t deny the success of Facebook‘s Like button. Its popularity quickly skyrocketed; it took less than a month for the button to appear on more than 100,000 websites. Now it is a standard method for endorsing something on the social web.But that’s exactly the problem — the Like button is an endorsement. If you run across an interesting article and share it, it’s seen as an implicit endorsement. And although that has gotten Facebook this far, the social platform is ready to go further.The company did some internal research and found that users, especially younger ones, were afraid to “Like” because of the implied endorsement. Less Liking, or sharing, means less interesting content on Facebook and fewer posts about what these users are doing.
Facebook’s bet is that more people will click a button that says they’ve “Listened” to a song or “Watched” a video, rather than simply liking it. That’s why Facebook will be rolling out “Wapched,” “Listened” and “Read” buttons, as has been previously reported. But at Facebook’s f8 conference, the company will give developers the power to create their own actions.
Called Gestures, these actions are the next step in integrating Facebook with every part of the web. It’s possible you’ll be able to click a Facebook “Challenge” button that would let you post a game challenge on your friend’s wall, or a “Cheer” button that would let you support your friends when they need it. And yes, you could theoretically create a “Dislike” button through Facebook’s new initiative, though if I were Zuckerberg, I’d put a limit on that specific verb. It will be, as the folks at AllThingsD describe it, a “sharing explosion.” It’s Facebook’s partners that will take this capability and turn it into applications that populate Facebook and their websites with these Gestures, though. That’s Facebook’s plan — to become the social layer on which the web is built. To that end, you can also expect Facebook to roll out a new Open Graph at f8, one that includes a much clearer and more engaging permissions screen. The new Open Graph will change Facebook drastically. This is only the beginning. Facebook has a lot more to show us, and some of its biggest announcements may not come at f8, but in the weeks after. Facebook’s launching season is upon us.
The social layer upon which the web is built- the foundation of the ‘personal’ web.
This is fantastic news according to us, and especially the fact that “Gestures” are going to be wonderfully flexible.
The point here, which Facebook is acting on, is that the web is social AND personal and the future is even more personal than it is social! ( Cryptic I know )
We can only watch these trends unfold and adapt as quickly as possible to the rollouts of changes within our favorite social network- from a development perspective it makes a lot of sense that they are responding now to various changes, challenges and pressures within the social networking environment. The question really for us, is whether they’ll continue to set the trend, and be the innovators of social sharing technology?
Either way, exciting times are upon us, and we can’t wait to adapt to the next phase, or as some people have called it, the dawn of social networking 2.0