A like button, like option, or recommend button is a feature in communication software such as social networking services, Internet forums, news websites and blogs where the user can express that they like, enjoy or support certain content. Like is the lowest level category feedback on content that a user can provide in internet based social networks, and it has positive impact as it indicates that the user found the content interesting, useful or worth considering. Internet services that feature like buttons usually display the number of users who liked each content, and may show a full or partial list of them. This is a quantitative alternative to other methods of expressing reaction to content, like writing a reply text. Some websites also include a dislike button, so the user can either vote in favour, against or neutrally. Other websites include more complex Web content voting systems, for example five stars.
The like button was first announced as a FriendFeed feature on October 30, 2007 and was popularized within that community. Later the feature was integrated into Facebook before FriendFeed was acquired by Facebook August 10, 2009.
The Facebook like button is designed as a hand giving "thumbs up". It was originally discussed to have been a star or a plus sign, and during development the feature was referred to as "awesome" instead of "like". It was introduced on 9 February 2009. During May 2016, Facebook introduced reactions - a new way to express peoples emotions to Facebook posts. Some reactions included "Love", "Haha", "Wow", "Sad", or "Angry".
In 2010, as part of a wider redesign of the service, YouTube switched from a star-based rating system to Like/Dislike buttons. Under the previous system, users could rate videos on a scale from 1 to 5 stars; YouTube staff argued that this change reflected common usage of the system, as 2-, 3-, and 4-star ratings were not used as often.
In 2012, YouTube briefly experimented with replacing the Like and Dislike buttons with a Google+ +1 button.
Alongside "retweets", Twitter users could "favorite" posts made on the service, indicated by a gold star symbol. In November 2015, to alleviate user confusion and put the function more in line with other social networks, the "favorite" function was renamed "like", and its button was changed from a star symbol to a heart.
Tumblr's like button is heart-shaped like those in Twitter and Instagram.
Sina Weibo has a like button. Its functions are similar to those on Twitter.
Strava, the popular GPS tracking app for cycling and running, has the Kudos button which gives the option for users to like the activities of fellow athletes.
VK like buttons for posts, comments, media and external sites operate in a different way from Facebook. Liked content doesn't get automatically pushed to the user's wall, but is saved in the (private) Favorites section instead.
In 2017, a person was fined 4,000 Swiss francs by a Swiss regional court for liking defamatory messages on Facebook written by other people which criticized an activist. According to the court, the defendant "clearly endorsed the unseemly content and made it his own".
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- "Twitter officially kills off favorites and replaces them with likes". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- Man fined by Swiss court for 'liking' defamatory comments on Facebook - The Guardian / AFP, 20 May 2017