Facebook Replaces “Become a Fan” Button with “Like” Button

An example of the "Like" button on Bill Pennington's Facebook fan page

Facebook introduced the “Like” button for Pages today. Instead of clicking the traditional “Become a fan” button on “fan pages”, fans will now click the “Like” button on “community pages” to show their approval for brands and public figures.

It appears that this is an attempt by Facebook to re-brand their highly marketing-driven “fan pages” with more touchy-feely “community pages”, allowing users to feel like they are joining communities rather than becoming fans. Facebook’s explanation for the “Like” button touches on this notion:

To improve your experience and promote consistency across the site, we’ve changed the language for Pages from “Fan” to “Like.” We believe this change offers you a more light-weight and standard way to connect with people, things and topics in which you are interested.

Message to Facebook: Stop confusing everyone. I’m excited for you. You’re the most visited website on the internet. You get a lot of buzz. Congratulations. But you know what your most recent accolade is? You confuse A LOT of people. Your brand-specific terminology is worse that Starbucks with its pretentious obsession with unique sizing words (tall, grande, venti). The average user does not care which word you choose to connect with a page. (Like. Fan.) They do not care what you call your feeds. (Newsfeed. Livefeed.) They don’t care what you call the notes that they get from others. (Notifications. Messages. Updates.) However, they do care about being able to navigate through the site in order to connect with their friends, family and favorite things. Facebook is built on FACES, PEOPLE. Not buttons, links and terminology. It seems like you change the user interface by the month. How will anyone remember how to navigate your site if you keep changing it? Get a grip and stop making it difficult and confusing for people to connect with others!

GEEZE. I feel like Amanda Bynes on All That in her “Dear Ashley” segments. If you don’t remember those segments, the innocent-looking Ashley would answer fan’s questions with snappy advise. By the end of the segment, Ashley was in a rage at the stupidity of the questions. I feel like this is the perfect opportunity for a flashback to Dear Ashley in which Facebook writes:

Dear Ashley,

I’m the most visited website on the planet. Should I change a button on my website from “Become a fan” to “Like”? Do you think this would bring more value to users or just completely confuse them?

Love,

Facebook

What do you think? Does anyone out there disagree with me? Does anyone agree with me? How important was the change from “Become a Fan” to “Like”? Was it confusing? Or am I completely out of hand?

For those of you who don’t know about “Dear Ashley” here’s a little sample:

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