Hold onto your hats, Internet – one of the most basic functions of social network-dom, the Facebook Like button, has gotten a makeover. According to the Facebook developers blog, the new look also extends to the Share button.
“Today we’re introducing a new design for both Like and Share to help people share more great content across the Web,” writes Facebook. “We’re already seeing a favorable increase in Likes and Shares with the new design and will be rolling these buttons out to everyone in the coming weeks.”
The Like button has been a Facebook staple since 2010, and it quickly spread beyond, to become a signifier of approval that users could stamp on nearly any and every website. The Share button likewise (Likewise?) became an important for users to quickly and easily send out stories with one click, without leaving a site.
These two little buttons are an incredibly important part of Facebook’s place in the Web; it’s allowed the social network to wrap itself into a huge number of domains. The Like and Share buttons are what make Facebook much, much bigger than Facebook.com. According to Facebook, Like and Share buttons are viewed more than 22 billion times a day and have a home on more than 7.5 million websites. They’re a considerable piece of what makes Facebook integral to the Internet as a whole.
And since their origin, the two buttons have remained as is. So why the switch-up? Apparently the design gets more clicks; the darker blue and seemingly bolder text must be just that much more eye-catching.
“The new buttons are clearer and simpler, and as a result, people are liking and sharing more things,” a Facebook spokesperson tells us. “In addition to the visual refresh, we’ve made it very easy for developers to put the Like and Share buttons side by side. Displaying both buttons lets people choose how they want to share, and can help drive Facebook referral traffic to websites.”
The change comes just as discussions about Facebook and Twitter as news sources are surfacing. While the update may seem minimal, you can bet anything that can give Facebook a tiny edge over its competitor will be implemented.
Like all Facebook updates, this one comes with complaints (user rage is inescapable, even for something as seemingly minor as this). This time, the contention comes from developers dealing with update to their sites. Apparently, the Facebook Send button has been yanked for some sites. Facebook’s Peter Yang explained in the comments of the blog announcement that sites that featured Like and Send next to each other will now show Like and Share instead. “Share has all the functionality of the Send button and more, so no changes are needed on the publisher side,” says Yang. However, sites that only used Send will retain that button.