The other day, Facebook changed around some things on their site. They do these kinds of things quite often without much warning so it wasn’t too much of a shock. It did surprise me though that they decided to switch everything from being fans of things, to simply liking those same things.
This further extended to them now allowing developers to install “like” buttons on any page of their websites in a very similar way to the digg counter and “digg this” buttons that we’ve seen in the past. Whether or not this replaces the “share” buttons that allow you to post things to your profile and news feed while also allowing you to add some commentary of your own to it is not clear to me at this point. However, this new system doesn’t allow you to control what gets posted and won’t even give you a preview of it. It simply posts that you like whatever the story or page is on your profile instantly.
While I can see why a developer would be excited about this want want to incorporate it into their site as quickly as possible, looking at it as objectively as I can, I have to say I really think this is a terrible idea. There are elements of the connectivity all over the web that do interest me, but I can’t help but think about the average person on Facebook who will be completely spammed with all of these like messages which are not really useful in any real sense.
Facebook is already overrun with so many options which detract from what the site’s original premise was. This really just adds to that. I don’t think this will cause too much extra facebook fatigue because that’s already been happening anyway with the huge number of apps and other add-ons for a long time now.
The PS3’s implementation of facebook is extremely poorly done and this is really only a level above that spam creation machine.
The only people who will really enjoy this service are people who’s only friends on facebook are other likeminded people who can all share in the experience. For the average facebook user, I think it will prove to be overwhelming and unnecessary. However, that’s just my view and we’ll all see how it pans out in the near future.