The Evolution of Facebook’s ‘Like’ Button

Most of us in the undergraduate age range right now created our Facebook’s incognito. Back in the day we had to be a certain age to be able to make an account (which at the time many of us were not of age..). I remember when the requirement was you had to be at least 18 years of age. So what did my 12 year old self do? Pretended to be 18 and I got my Facebook as a 7th grader. Now almost 10 years later, it is has been cool to watch this social media site grow. Something I remember best was when ‘liking’ was NOT a thing. Most people my age who had their Facebook back in middle school remember this era. We are also reminded of this time when we look under our “On the day” events and see that no one liked those embarrassing statuses from 8th grade. (Maybe it was better to not have people be able to react to my embarrassing and pointless statuses from those days) Anyways, moving on to more important things…

We used to just scroll through our newsfeed and look at statuses or pictures posted by friends and family. That was the extent of what we did and could do. But then came along the ingenious idea of that button we all press SEVERAL of times a day, the ‘Like’ button.

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Implemented in 2009, the button started out as sort of a foreign territory for Facebook users. Was it truly that simple to communicate to someone how we felt towards their post? Yes. It had become as simple as one click. This little button has grown to a point that I don’t think most of us saw coming. The two largest trends I have noticed (personal and business wise) have been…

  1. The number of ‘likes’ is something that some people thrive off of on social media. This doesn’t stop with Facebook. It is popular on all social media (Instagram, Twitter, etc.) A lot of us have become absorbed into this type of acceptance by our peers. I have personally experienced great joy when receiving dozens of likes on a post, while also feeling some sadness from not receiving as many likes on other posts.
  2. Businesses are using the amount of ‘likes’ as a form of measurement. Marketing overall has had to make a large shift due to this skyrocket in social media. Just now when googling, ‘like button on Facebook’, I got dozens of sites showing me how implement the button onto my site, my advertisements, and so on. An example of social media marketing goal could be to reach 100 likes on this certain post by Monday. It has become a benchmark for some companies.

The next step Facebook took was the new and improved version of likes = ‘Reactions.’


Those who have had Facebook for the past couple of years have seen this new implementation take off as well. After reading a few articles, it seems as though adding in this new feature took quite some time and extensive research (focus groups, surveys, etc.) I do not foresee this feature growing as rapidly as the ‘like’ button due to my personal page still being full of the likes and not love/sadness/anger/etc., but I could be wrong. This could easily be have been a chance for Facebook to create a new trend for social media sites where sites. Sites could slowly implement this feature and start to be able to see how their consumers are specifically reacted to their information online.

Do you think this ‘Reaction’ type of responding will trend like the ‘like’ button? Let me know what you think.


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