The Facebook Like Button

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.”

Maybe this was the quote by William Arthur Ward which ran through the back of the mind of the people at Facebook (or was it Mark Zuckerburg himself) when they invented the Facebook Like Button.

After all encouragement is something which we have seen and felt right from our childhood. 

As a child, our parents encouraged us to take those baby steps - so that we can walk into the world. 

You will recollect the time when you walked into your first exam. Your parents must have wished you best of luck when you walked away from them towards the school. 

But yet when you stole a small nervous glance back at them, to get that last boost of confidence, your parents must have signaled a "thumbs-up". That would have told you - go on my dear, nothing can go wrong.

And years later, when you appeared for that high profile board exam, you friends across the exam hall must have given you the same "thumbs-up" signal. Undoubtedly, that would have given you amazing confidence to the crack the exam at hand.

Who can forget Akshay Kumar saying - Thums Up, Taste The Thunder.

Well, such instances are many and one common thread unites them - encouragement. After all it's a signal to motivate. An alternative for "All The Best" or "I Like It".

But as life started moving towards the net, bringing in its passivity, its aloofness - such tokens of encouragement were rare. In fact, they were non-existent.

However, man has learnt to fill voids. And the Facebook designers introduced this wonderful "thumbs-up" button - rechristening it as "The Like Button". And needless to say, it has been one of the most sucessfull little features developed on the internet. 

With Facebook being rich in content - be it the pictures, the videos, the status updates, the web of links, the pages, the forums, etc etc - you had a lot to like and love. And - most likely - with the intent of indicating your fondness for a particular content , your appreciation for a particular subject, they introduced The Like Button.

It would be surprising to note that a like is not determined purely based on the content. There is some additional element or aspect in play when you like something. It's the human element.

Think about a content which originates from an individual who is Relatively Unknown. If you like the content (be it a picture or status or anything) or think that the content is good, you are more likely to click The Like Button.

Alternatively, think about a content which originates from an individual who is Relatively Known. You may like the content (be it a link or a comment or anything). However, whether you click The Like Button or not it is dependent on your relationship with the individual. You would think twice before saying - I Like It.

You may love the matter or admire the subject generously. But you would have second thoughts before Liking It. And remember, this is just for the Relatively Known.

After all, the internet is anonymous. Yet it is just a small world.

You must be wondering - how would you identify someone who is Relatively Known or Relatively Unknown? Well, it's a question you can answer definitively. Try to place individuals into these two buckets - and you may find behavior in play. 

And who comes between the Relatively Known and the Relatively Unknown. Well, they are the Well Known. And for them, you don't have to even think once before clicking The Like Button.

Well, I might be wrong about this human impact on the process of liking. Or I may be right after all. But it would be important to say that these behaviors are not wrong or irrational. After all, Facebook and the internet is a social network. And a social network is incomplete without such human emotions.

And it will be worthwhile to note that today The Facebook Like Button celebrated its first birthday. Read more here.

I wonder how many would like this blog post of mine. And how many actually click on The Like Button.

P.S. Motivation Courtesy - A couple of Woody Allen movies I saw this weekend. He understands human emotions and depicts them in a simply awesome manner.
The Facebook Like Button The Facebook Like Button Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Monday, April 25, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. I did like this post and agree with what you said about the human element in 'Like', but what keeps me from clicking the 'Like' is another human element called 'laziness to login to FB'. :)

  2. My doubt is whether facebook is the inventor of like button?

    you can also get some nice tricks and tips from here

  3. I have read all the comments and suggestions posted by the visitors for this article are very fine,We will wait for your next article so only.Thanks!