Posted April 21, 2010 9:40 pm by with 5 comments

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Facebook has announced that it is giving people a chance to tell their friends even more about what they like. With the introduction of a “Like” button that will appear on partner sites, Facebook users can easily share content that they find “valuable” with their Facebook friends. So we are now left to wonder if the new feature for Facebook will be a winner or like, a loser.

The Wall Street Journal reports from the f8 Facebook developer conference

A centerpiece of the changes involves a simple button, offered to other Web sites, that says “Like.” For free, other Web sites can install a Facebook “Like” button that users can click on to signal their interest in a piece of content, such as a band or an article. The user’s approval then shows up on his or her Facebook page, with a link back to the site.

The idea is that other Web sites will drive traffic back to, and in turn receive traffic from Facebook. Other sites can also offer personalized modules, telling individual users what their Facebook friends have done on the site, such as review a restaurant.

The new “Like” buttons transmit data about user activity back to Facebook. If they like a band, for example, a link to the band could appear in their interests. Since advertisers can already target ads to users’ interests, the new buttons could give advertisers more data to target ads to, but Facebook said it isn’t currently launching any new ad-targeting products in conjunction with the service.

While the button itself is a big deal it will also be a big deal how Facebook and its partners address any privacy concerns. There are three instant personalization partners Docs, Yelp and Pandora. According to the Help Center these sites are required to show a Facebook box at the top of their site so you can get out of the instant part of personalization. I tried it on all three and the box did not appear on Pandora.

Here’s Facebook’s version of notification of the new service to its users.

From the leaders of Facebook comes this take on the privacy issues.

In a news conference after his keynote address, Mr. Zuckerberg and other executives stressed that the new services would not loosen its privacy policies. They said that Facebook won’t share any individual user data with Web sites that implement the “Like” button, but may share aggregate data like how many people “Liked” an item. Whether Facebook would share that data with a user’s Facebook friends would depend on the user’s privacy settings.

As with anything related to Facebook and privacy it will take a little while for people to look for the “likeholes” (that’s a Like button privacy loophole). Considering Facebook’s privacy track record you have to go in expecting that they will try to get over on their users regarding privacy concerns that could block revenue opportunities and backpedal if they need to. Maybe I’m wrong but if history is any indicator I’d be, like, surprised if there weren’t some privacy concerns raised.

So do you like the idea?

  • As someone who has a marketing background and is currently an online content producer I’m very excited about this feature. I’ve already plugged the like button into the various sites I work with and am very interested to see what my web traffic results will look like in the next 30-60-90 days.
    .-= Michael G. Hurston´s last blog ..Facebook Like Button =-.

  • I think it’s a smart move, get people’s online communities even tighter.

  • Cynthia

    I think there are a lot of mixed feelings about the Facebook Like Button.

    Here’s a video that analyzes the new feature, along with some talk about the privacy issue:


  • George Ellenburg

    This is a privacy NIGHTMARE.

    This puts any and all privacy concerns that may have affected DoubleClick to shame.

    All Facebook Like buttons are served from Facebook’s own servers.

    Therefore, Facebook is collecting a dossier on everyone that surfs the web and what pages they read.

    If they are Facebook members, they can correlate that data to one’s Facebook profile.

    If they are not Facebook members, they can still correlate the data based on IP address and geolocation.

    This is beyond Big Brother, and the fact that this is being carried out by a corporation doesn’t make it any less scary.

  • We have already implemented this on all of our music submission opportunities for new music artists and we have also put this on the music artists song presentation package along with implementing it into their comments section. You can take a look here and
    .-= Music Xray´s last blog ..Detailed feedback on your music =-.