“Become a Fan” Has Been Replaced with “Like” on Facebook Fan Pages

In late March, Facebook announced that “Become a Fan” would be replaced by “Like” on Facebook fan pages.  The change rolled out in early April and today, the ubiquitous Facebook “Like” button is on all Facebook fan pages, next to the company/organization/page name.

Image of Matrix Group Page on Facebook

Facebook’s Rationale for the Change to “Like”

Facebook says it changed “Become a Fan” to “Like” to offer businesses a more light-weight and standard way to connect with people, things and topics in which you are interested.

In addition, changing to “Like” aligns with Facebook’s overall strategy of populating the Web with “Like” buttons so that Web surfers can announce their like of pages anywhere around the Web and have these “likes” posted to their personal Facebook pages.  (More on this in a future blog post.)

It seems Facebook wants to corner the “Like” market.

For the Most Part, Facebook Pages are NOT Changing

Aside from changing the language in the button from “Become a Fan” to “Like,” the Facebook pages aren’t really changing.

  • Status updates on Facebook pages will still appear on fan (er liker) profiles.
  • Facebook page owners can still call people who like their pages “fans.”
  • When a Facebook subscriber “likes” a page, it will show up in their Profile under Info –> Pages.

What IS Changing About Facebook Pages

  • Facebook now allows you to customize the order in which Pages appear on your profile. You can even move some Pages behind a “See all” link, so that you can still connect to Pages without displaying all of them prominently on your profile.
  • Instead of seeing a random selection of fans + a link to See All, there are now two boxes:  “xx Friends Like This” tells you how many of YOUR friends also “like” a page while “xx People Like This” tells you the total number of likers or fans.

Will “Like” Encourage More Fans, More Connections?

According to PCWorld, Facebook reports that users click “Like” almost twice as much as they click “Become a Fan” — so, it follows that if Facebook changes “Become a Fan” to “Like,” more users will click on it.  Could this be true?

I don’t know about you, but to me, there is a BIG difference between announcing that I “like” something and declaring myself a “fan” of a company, product or service.  Think about it.  Fan is derived from the word “fanatic.”  Dictionary.com says a fan is “an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer.”  Being a fan is a far cry from simply “liking” something.

Who knows?  Perhaps it’s all semantics and Web surfers will behave exactly the same way.

Or perhaps, as Facebook predicts, we fans, followers and customers will actually be encouraged to “like” more pages.

How about you?  What do you think of “Become a Fan” becoming “Like?”  Are you encouraged to “Like” more pages?

7 thoughts on ““Become a Fan” Has Been Replaced with “Like” on Facebook Fan Pages

  1. Joanna, again a timely post thank you ! I was just getting my head around this ! Although I agree with you about Fan being a much stronger action than Like, I think everything was heading towards a dilute soup of preferences anyway. Unavoidable trend I think. It was bound to happen. And I’m not sure that anyone cares too much anymore with the difference between strongly liking something (Fan) or casually liking something (Like) – I have only been on FaceBook for about 2 weeks and everyone I’ve asked if they tend to Like or Fan things, they say – “Who cares”. Whether they generally like something or strongly like soemthing – they don’t seem to much care about the strength of preference. The only differential these days seems On vs Off, Like vs Dislike. And nothing in between. Interesting social trend…..

  2. How much you like something is becoming “how many people like something”. It’s not about degrees of each person’s opinion, but the number of people overall who have an opinion. Interesting.

    Garry

  3. The thing I learned recently was that even if you have set your privacy settings very high, ANY comment you make on ANY organizational page (whether you “became a Fan” or now “Like” the page) are publicly searchable. Try it. Google “Your Name Facebook” and see what comes up.

  4. I think the change to “like” makes quite a big difference. I never understood why someone wanted to become a “fan” of a company. I mean, except for Apple, most average companies do not have extremely devoted followers. Rock bands do have fans, not companies. Liking a company makes more sense.
    At the same time I wonder, if people just because of a different name tag will more likely click the button, since it does the same thing as the old one did (e.g. showing everyone on your profile that you stand behind company A or B). But I guess for most people the lable is more important than what it actually does…
    Anyways, I am not happy with the change to “like” in general for one reason: In the past you became a fan of a page and you liked individual posts. Now, this is mixed up and becomes more and more confusing.

  5. Pingback: Getting Started with a Facebook Page For Your Organization – Part 1 | The MatriX Files

  6. I have a Fan Page for old school mates and I have understod that “Become a fan” has changed to “like” and that’s no problem.
    My problem is that they of course want to see who is a “member” (like) but only admin can see it.
    I managed to put in some code using apps FBML and it worked but now they seem to have changed to code for the Fan Pages and it has stopped working.

    Anyone who know a good solution for letting the members see who is on?

  7. Fans will autmatically be a fan or like the page if he really like the information on your page or website.

    Regards
    Denisha

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