Seasonal flu: a virus called “Like” has infected LinkedIn!

facebook like

I don’t want to make an cheesy comparison between me, forced to stay at home by a fever, and Facebook, that enjoys its good health. It could be either good or bad news, but it really seems that the Like button is arriving everywhere, just like a seasonal flu. We don’t mean the Like button in itself, but the huge simplification that Facebook has brought to our lives, to our way of thinking and valuing things.

Do you remember the 1-5 rating scale on Youtube? Last year it was replaced, a bit on the sly, by a simple Like – Not Like.  If we look around, sometimes we still find old-fashioned purists of Youtube that want the old rating system back: being able to rate a video 3 out of 5, instead of a simple Like or Don’t like. Many of you will say that most people voted either either five or just one star anyways, so things haven’t changed much. Maybe it’s true, but it’s a question of principle: today it’s all reduced to binary logics: 0 or 1, yes or no, Like or Not Like.

From a young Italian startup like Yeplike, based just on the like-dislike, to another Italian bigger reality, like OKNotizie, Like or Not Like, black or white. Like the video-social network Funny or Die, created by the comedians Will Ferrel and Adam McKaynel in 2006: the user can choose between “funny” and “die”, decreeing with a yes or with a not whether saving or not the video. If it doesn’t receive at least 80% of “funny”, it goes to a website’s zone called “crypt”. To make it short: the average consumer of social networks just wants to say yes or no.

But this ideological “Facebookization” doesn’t affect only the rating and voting systems. By now it’s infecting the structures of all other social networks, included the direct rivals of the Zuckerberg’s creature. For example, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Not much time has passed since the biggest professional social network reached 100 million users, and some days ago Wired told us something about the future changes of the LinkedIn world.

linkedin share button

The main new is the social plug-in: the implementation of a widget that allowed the blogs and websites’ owners to insert some previews of their profile ( above ) or their company ( below ). With the possibility, inspired by Twitter, to follow the above mentioned company directly from the web pages external to LinkedIn. It obviously works for the users already registered in the social networks.

But maybe they arrived a bit late: Facebook took steps to implement the social plug-ins more than a year ago. And one year delay, in Social Media time, is equivalent to a decade.

linkedin social plugin

But there are other news:

  • Share button that could transport links and pages to our LinkedIn newsfeed
  • Recommend button to vote and share the products and companies we like.

What do you think? It seems that Facebook’s bigger brother (age-wise, since it was born in 2003, and for character-wise, since it’s more serious) wants to position itself as a clear antagonistic. It wants to challenge the main social network in the same field, following the footsteps of Facebook, that left its own spaces thanks to the revolution of the social plug- ins ( whose we talked about here).

Let’s move to Twitter now, with a new that could be very relevant, despite it is still a rumor.  Mashable (surprising, huh?) has anticipated that Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO, is thinking of customizable brand pages. He thinks that Twitter is provided with contents and conversation, but it lacks an experiential dimension on the page… that, we can add, it’s totally present on Facebook.

And there is more: let’s focus again of the “Like” topic and see a very recent research of BuddyMedia on the best timetables and strategies to obtain interactions through Facebook posts ( actually, it’s very interesting, besides this simple aspect ). Amongst the several infographics, we are shown a statistic that can be considered pretty obvious: if we want to get “Likes” to a post, it’s better to use the word “like” in the post. We are not joking. The word “like” works much more than “click”, “post”, or “share”.

like button

Does it sound too ridiculous? Maybe, but apparently things work this way. Always more “like” buttons are spreading around the web and the real world, in a competition with a lot of big fishes getting closer and closer to the giant from Palo Alto, that apparently seems to never stop.

Constant changes, both in the digital and real world. Like the change of headquarters, from Palo Alto to Menlo Park, still in Northern California, announced for June 2011. And meanwhile, the virus is still expanding.

Guido Ghedin

Translation by Luigi Tarini

Check out the original post here!