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Social Sharing – Do you ‘Like’ it or Not?

Web Bureau

28 April 2011 by Web Bureau

The Facebook Like button, launched last April, has celebrated its first anniversary and one year on, it is still getting the thumbs up as thousands of websites add it every day.

The social network expanded its digital footprint massively using the Like button, with over 50,000 websites installing it in the first week.  In less than a month, that figure doubled and today over 10,000 websites add the Like button every day!  Facebook reports that more than 2.5 million websites have integrated with them to date, including more than 80% of the top 100 websites in the U.S.

So what is behind the phenomenal success of the Like button?

Its overnight success can be attributed to the ease with which websites worldwide can integrate the Like Button, which is displayed in around 75 different languages.  Ongoing modifications also continue to make it more adaptable for websites and users. 

The icon is also simple but effective for users.  It serves as a testimonial and referral rolled into one, enabling us to demonstrate our appreciation for online content and share it with our friends on Facebook.  As social creatures we are all keen to be heard and let people know what we think, but as busy individual’s, we often don’t take the time to draft a paragraph long testimonial to thank a company that has served us well in the past – Facebook’s Like button offers us a quick and easy way to express our opinions and has also sparked demand for an unlike button to denote content which we don’t like!

Not to be outdone, Twitter launched its own tweet button last August and Google recently launched its own version, -1, which integrates directly into the world’s biggest search engine.  By clicking Google’s -1 you create a public stamp of approval.  Your name will become associated with the link within search results, ads and elsewhere online, helping your contacts and other web users to find the same quality results you did.  It also shows up in a feed on your Google Profile, which you need to create to allow you to use -1.

Plans to offer the button to publishers could soon give readers the ability to rate content on the publisher’s site, similar to what the Like button already does.  It is anticipated that -1 will have considerable appeal as it will directly impact upon Google’s search rankings, thus striking another blow for content farms, whose content is less likely to be shared.

Like it or not, the social sharing arena is getting bigger making the task of identifying the best companies to meet our needs much more transparent, whilst highlighting who not to like!

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