Friendfeed was the first major social media player to introduce “Like” option of a feed item. Soon this is available on Facebook. Twitter and Tumblr also provide similar feature. Looks like services with streams favor this concept.
The advantages is obvious to many users; they are now simply clicking on “Like” instead of writing comments. However, there are certain drawbacks of this feature.
Let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages on each aspect:
|To product owner||Increase frequencies of interactions between users and feed items.||Decrease lifetime of a feed item.|
|To users||Quicker to comment. Move on to next item.
Historical data if “liked” items can be traced back.
|The “Like” action is usually forgotten more quickly than actual comments with contents (Facebook case).|
|To community||It is tempting to think that if the “Like” action spreads in the feed it would bring values to community.
However, frequency also needs to be considered as people tend to like more than re-share.
|Psychologically, when someone hits “Like”, there is a feeling of “accomplishing a responsibility” for the item and no further action is taken. As a consequence, less re-share is made and the life cycle of the item ends sooner.|
As the “Like” feature kills off re-share actions, it is appropriate for immediate status that has very short life. i.e. Personal status
It may devalue items which have values increased when shared such as a link or a thought.
At the core, it comes down to value of the feed item. If the item is worth and appropriate for sharing, it should be forwarded, not ended with a simple “Like”.
What do you think of my proposal?