January 27, 2013
Likes, and the Like.
Last week, I went through my whole Facebook list and undid things that "seemed" like they might be an issue if they came up in FB's new Graph Search.
But it's hard to know what could be an issue..
I will say that the way i see the "like" button being used it multifaceted. People like things for many reasons:
* to acknowledge receipt or that they've seen something
* to thank someone for remarking
* to thank someone for taking an action or sharing something
* to show laughter
* to acknowledge understanding the item or page
* to promote a comment so other's see it
* to help a friend who asked you to like something
* to comment without commenting
* to show the poster that you are "there" in their world
* to make it so that you will keep seeing the poster's facebook stuff
* to start receiving the "RSS" feed in your news feed of a page, person, or thing
* to get access to coupons, deals or a contest
* to make the liker noticeable to someone they aren't "friends" with..
* to cause a post, photo or page to show up in their feed to promote it (without actually liking the thing)
* to pee on the item to "aggregate it" in your list of items you want to keep a link to and it may not be because you like the actual thing in the page, photo or post
* to give more happy birthday comments or appreciate other's HBs because the birthday person is close to the liker (a spouse, perhaps)
*and* it's also done to actually "like" something in the traditional sense.
I can even see people "liking" likes (not functionally possible.. but it's done in a way by liking a comment that says something in the above list of ways of paying attention.)
The problem is, most of what I see as "likes" aren't about liking something, as in " I like it !! ". They are about the fact that there is no other way to do something to something on FB in any way, with the exception of commenting which isn't always possible, because you may not have rights to comment due to your relationship with the poster and the privacy settings the poster has set on FB.
Those likes are about attention to something with a variety of meanings.
I'm sure there are more reasons to "like" that aren't about actually having a favorable thought about an item, post, update, photo, page, etc..
But you get my point.
And so Graph Search is silly.. when the search results assume the "likers" all have affection or agree with the item and weren't doing something for some other social reason out of expediency.
Update 4/2/2013: Here are a couple of example screengrabs from my own feed that show this is something others are becoming more and more aware of as they try to make sense of the "like" and the like: