2010 was the year when this button became visible on every webpage. You can see the button on many news sites, blogs, and business sites. When the Like button became popular on the Web, many people were encouraged to use it, as if clicking the button changes everything. Nowadays, a post with no comments but with many ‘Likes’ is considered popular. Facebook’s Like button provides empowerment, a sign that people paid attention to your posts.
The Like button means a variety of things to different people. For some, clicking the Like button literally indicates that a person agrees to or affirms a post. For others, using the Like button is a way of expressing unexpressed thoughts about the post’s content. There are also people who click the Like button as a sign of courtesy, using the button even if they haven’t read the post.
Compared to Facebook’s Share, the Like button is a more spontaneous feature that allows people to express their thoughts about a post without having to come up with a comment. The button allows site visitors and readers to bypass the methods of traditional commenting.
The Like button helps build online relationships. Readers and site visitors can convey quiet appreciation for a post by clicking the Like button. I’ve personally gained many friends, followers, and clients with the little help of this button.
The Like button also provides a sense of belonging and existence. Being one of the 1000 individuals who ‘Liked’ a popular, trending post is important for many people. Yes, there are people who justify their existence by the inclusion of their names on the list of people who Liked a post. This can give an individual the feeling that he or she belongs to a community.
For many, the Like button is a signal— whatever it means, or whatever it could mean to you— for you to build not just relationships but to grow connections, links and followings. Knowing that there is someone who loves what I do gives me inspiration to come up with more content.
Some cons about the Like button
People see it as shallow. Some people, especially diligent writers and obsessive-compulsive website owners, see the button as shallow and senseless. Some of them prefer to have no commenting feature at all rather than have this button. For them, the button has no significant use and only clutters their precious websites.
It sends questions and contrasting ideas. The button can also create negative ideas to those who do not understand its concept. This photo, for instance, is a good example. Well, there is nothing wrong with the Nat Geo website and there’s nothing funny about this tsunami aftermath photo.
What bothered me was the fact that 745 people Liked it. Should we “like” this photo? Would it be proper to click the Like button for this image of disaster? In this case, the Like button had different meanings for different readers. Either you’re amazed by the photo, or you just want to express an emotion. Perhaps that’s the real power of Facebook’s Like button.