Facebook introduced the Like button in 2009.
The impact of the Like button has been significant culturally, analytically, structurally, economically etc. 1Facebook Like button. (2023, February 3). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook_like_button
It’s one of the most influential PR campaigns of all time.
Background: A New Feature for Interaction
Today, it seems obvious that you can interact with almost any social object by simply liking it. But this wasn’t always the case.
Activity: Tapping the Engagement Pyramid
By implementing the Facebook Like button, the social network was able to tap into much larger parts of the engagement pyramid as it gave users an opportunity to interact easily besides sharing and commenting.
Adding new means of basing decisions on social proof often leads to increased social engagement, too.
Likes from users also sent high-value social signals via notifications to content publishers, thus conforming them to adapt their output as a form of direct audience feedback, increasing engagement on both sides.
Result: Multi-Level Data Opt-In
The Like button didn’t just affect individual online behaviours. It also provided Facebook with a wealth of new data to further optimise the algorithm and fine-tune the user experience — and later also provide additional data to fine-tune their programmatic ad model.
Most significantly, but often overlooked historically, is that Facebook also provided the Like button as a social plugin, allowing website owners to add Facebook Like functionality to their platforms.
Facebook quickly gained data-tracking access to almost the entire internet — and website owners did all the work for them and provided their data for free in exchange for getting their content more easily shared on the social network site.
Insight: Change the Internal Polarity
When we think of features and functions as PR professionals, we have a tendency to think of them as standalone communication activities. “We’re now launching a new feature or function.”
However, the real story is often to be found within new infrastructures. It’s often the infrastructure that provides impact. By thinking of features and functions differently, we can begin asking different types of questions:
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|1||Facebook Like button. (2023, February 3). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook_like_button|