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. 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.
Various social buttons allow users to express their recommendation or support for websites across web communication platforms.
The Facebook like button (activated 9 February 2009) 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".
Use on FriendFeed
The like button was first announced as a FriendFeed feature on October 30, 2007 and was popularized within its community. Later on the feature was integrated to Facebook before eventually FriendFeed was acquired by Facebook August 10, 2009.
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.
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/Dislike buttons with a Google+ +1 button.
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.
- Gerlitz, Carolin; Helmond, Anne (2011). "Hit, link, like and share. Organising the social and the fabric of the web". Digital Methods Winter Conference Proceedings (Goldsmiths, University of London): 1–29.
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