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.
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?