Facebook, enforcing like-ability, inspiring confusion?

I logged onto the Facebook Page I manage earlier today to find this message.

That message made sense to me, but I made the mistake of clicking “Learn more“.  It put me on a 7 section, 30 question FAQ.  I went for the “Liking” a Page section, hoping I was in the right place.

Why did “Become a Fan” change to “Like”?

To improve your experience and promote consistency across the site, we’ve changed the language for Pages from “Fan” to “Like.” We believe this change offers you a more light-weight and standard way to connect with people, things and topics in which you are interested.

Ok, this made sense too.  I can “Like” something and not necessarily be a “Fan” of it.

What does it mean to “Like” a Page?

When you click “Like” on a Page, you are making a connection to that Page. The Page will be displayed in your profile, and in turn, you will be displayed on the Page as a person who likes that Page. The Page will also be able to post content into your News Feed.

Ok, I think I’m following.  You’re now going to treat Pages like any other item in someone’s feed, but not really.  They can Like it, but that still means they’re a Fan and the Page can post content to their feed.

Can I still “Like” a News Feed story about my friends Liking Pages?

No. When you see a Feed story about a friend Liking a Page, there will be no feedback links below that story. However, if you hover over the Page name, you will see a small preview of the Page and the number of other people who have also Liked that Page. You can then Like that Page to add it to your profile, or you can click through to the Page itself.

So I can Like a Page, but I can no longer Like that someone joined a page, I can only Like it myself.  So if my friend joins a group called, let’s say, “Luddites for Social Media”, the only thing I can do to show my support is to Like the Page myself, even if I just want to encourage my friend? I guess so.  I hope the cause is worth it.

Is there a difference between “Liking” an item a friend posts and “Liking” a Page?

Yes. Liking a Page means you are connecting to that Page. When you connect to a Page, it will appear in your profile and you will appear on the Page as a person who likes that Page. The Page will also be able to post content into your News Feed.
On the other hand, when you click “Like” on a piece of content that a friend posts, you are simply letting your friend know that you like it without leaving a comment.

So to make this feel more lightweight and to encourage more connections across the site, you’re adding a new meaning to the word “Like”?  I guess this may encourage more Page connections as people are getting used to clicking Like on feed items.  Though I think it will create confusion.

I have to say I’m not a Fan of the change.  Can we add a “Don’t Like”?

-k

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4 Responses to Facebook, enforcing like-ability, inspiring confusion?

  1. Matt Nelson says:

    Kevin. Great break down here I really “like” it. 🙂

    Seriously though, I really do agree with you. If your going to have a “like” button for this stuff there should be a “dislike” button and I also think this is going to create a lot of confusion amongst current and new users. What was wrong with being a “fan” of a business, and to be honest I don't want a bunch of casual connections to our business, I want people to really want to follow our content because they find it interesting and useful.

  2. Thanks Matt! I think it'll be interesting to see if this changes the nature of “fans” on Facebook. I still don't get why they did this. -k

  3. Matt Nelson says:

    Kevin. Great break down here I really “like” it. 🙂

    Seriously though, I really do agree with you. If your going to have a “like” button for this stuff there should be a “dislike” button and I also think this is going to create a lot of confusion amongst current and new users. What was wrong with being a “fan” of a business, and to be honest I don’t want a bunch of casual connections to our business, I want people to really want to follow our content because they find it interesting and useful.

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