The simplest form of user engagement is the Like button. Easy to use, it expresses your interest, tells your friends something about you, and allows you to keep a record of what you did. But does it tell a coherent story?
Facebook Like, Google Star, Youtube Like, delicious Bookmark, Digg Vote. Every self-respecting platform seems to reinvent the wheel and have their own version of a Like button. Consistency is non-existent, integration is minimal and competition is through the roof.
Competition on Like buttons? It might sound strange but it does make sense. In this world of information overload, we want to know what's interesting and what's a waste of time. Back in the day (read 'now'), Google owned that knowledge; if it ranked high in their search rankings it must be important. But is it? After all, do I really care about content that has been pushed to the top by an SEO expert?
Like buttons add the human touch, make it easy to see what is really hot - right now - and make it simple to share with your friends. All tailored to the different interests you might have.
But what will become the de-facto standard in Liking stuff that's on the Internet - in whatever form it takes? Only time will tell, but there are just two real contenders: Facebook with their 500+ million active users and Google with their billions of potential button clickers. Facebook rolled out their universal Graph that can be used to like anything, anywhere, at any time. Google is heavily testing its own Like button with added pressure to save their business and improve their search engine.
Billions in revenue are at stake so I am expecting something excellent. I might actually like it...
Originally published on the
Amsterdam Worldwide blog