Photo via Jeffisageek flickr
It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m thinking about the psychology of social engagement. Why do people “Like” comments / post and what does it mean, when they “Like” something. If you look a lot of popular social media sites such as Facebook, friendfeed and even video social networking sites like Vimeo all have a like button or link. Also with social commenting platforms such as Disqus, you can now even hit the “Like” button on comments. Even url shortener services have a “Like” button such as StumbleUpon’s su.pr
But what does it mean when you hit the “Like” button and why don’t we see a “Dislike” button. Twitter doesn’t even have a “Like” button or feature but when you ReTweet a tweet does that mean you actually saying that you “Like” it? The “Like” feature comes in various formats too. A lot of times you’ll see it as a “Thumbs up” or a “Heart” or just a text link saying “Like”. Some sites/blogs use stars for rating post or videos such as YouTube but they also use “Thumbs” for voting comments. Does stars mean you “Like” it and when you give a video 5 stars means you just “Like” it a lot?
Two services that really push the mentality of “Liking” a post are Slashdot and Digg. Slashdot uses the plus/minus feature if a reader “Likes” a post and Digg users created their own lingo so to speak as to when “Digg” something you “Like” it. Or are you saying I’m endorsing it when I “Digg” a post.
Sorry that I have more questions than answers but I’m sticking to my saying that “I don’t have all the answers but my social network does”. So with that being said here are a few more questions:
- When you click on a “Like” link do you feel ad though as you are endorsing the content?
- Do we really need a “Dislike” link?
- Should Twitter add a “Like” feature?
- Should Brightkite add a “Like” feature?
- Should Facebook and Friendfeed add a “Dislike” link next to the “Like” button?
- Why do you “Like” a post but won’t leave a comment”?
- Do you “Like” this post? (he he)
- Do you know the first site to add a “Like” button?
Here’s a look at various “Like” buttons from the web.
I’m not sure who started the “Like” social phenomenon of giving users a quick way of expression their stamp of approval for online content but it has been adopted by the social web community. Your thoughts?