Facebook have this weekend made what appears to be a tiny change but is something that could actually have a huge impact on the social network. The well known like button has had an upgrade that will delight publishers, bloggers and website owners all over the world by sending them tons of extra traffic. Likes on 3rd party sites will now be treated in the same way as the share button was before (which you can still see here on our blog) and mean that tons of content from 3rd party sites is going to start appearing in the news feed rather than getting buried on profiles. Not only will this please publishers but it's also going to change the amount of content coming in to the news feed in a dramatic way and make Facebook start feeling more like Twitter. It's a tiny change that could have massive consequences...
The Old Like Button
Up until yesterday when you clicked on the like button on Facebook it would send a tiny notification back to your own personal profile that hardly anybody would see. It was great getting likes and they were improving your traffic but you weren't really sharing the link in the same way as you would with the share button on this website.
The New Like Button
This is going to be a game changer in terms of driving traffic to sites. When somebody clicks on a like button on a third party site it will now publish the entire story including a title, thumbnail and description to the newsfeed of your friends. This is going to immediately drive more traffic for publishers and change the amount of content in feeds.
End Of The Share Button
The share button that you see on this website has been around for a couple of years and although it will be sad to see it go it's good to see Facebook streamlining their like button and making sure the lines between the two buttons are no longer blurred.
What Does This Mean For The Newsfeed?It means that publishers are going to be getting even more traffic from Facebook and becoming more reliant on it than ever. It also means that by placing content in the news feed from 3rd party sites Facebook is going to start feeling more like Twitter. You are going to be seeing the likes and content that your friends are clicking on around the web. You might start sharing links even more and people will pass them around on Facebook itself. All in all this is a dream for publishers but it remains to be seen what users think about all these likes appearing in their feeds when they had no idea what was happening when they liked something. This seems like a small move by Facebook but it's actually massive.