Facebook Likes can now be baked into third-party mobile apps


Facebook’s “Like” button has become near ubiquitous on the Web, but up until now, mobile apps haven’t been able to leverage it. That changed this week, when the social network announced that Facebook Likes can now be baked into the third-party mobile apps, enabling third-party likes to appear in the Facebook notification feed.

Among the benefits of integrating Facebook’s new update is the benefit of the extra distribution to Facebook without having to add an extra Like button.

For example, Instagram’s existing Like button will be one in the same as the Facebook Like button. Foursquare, which has also been among the first applications to integrate this new Facebook feature, has integrated the Facebook like button into its own heart button.

instagram foursquare

By liking your friend’s Instagram photo or Foursquare update, Facebook’s Open Graph will notify your friend of the update on Facebook in their Facebook Notification feed.

Liking a photo on Instagram Facebook Notification

The update will also be published to your own Timeline and your friends’ News Feeds.

liking instagram photo published to Facebook newsfeed

“The new Open Graph built-in like action makes it easier for people to share content from your app. While the Like button is a great way to let friends share content from the Web back to Facebook, the like action enables you to build your own like buttons for your mobile or web app and drive distribution across Facebook,” Facebook software engineer, Andrew Rothbart, explained in a Facebook blog post.

However there are a couple of distinctive differences from the Facebook Web-based Like buttons.

First, unlike the Facebook “Like” buttons integrated into Web apps, users must enable the third-party app to publish the liked updates.

Second, developers must not confuse users by creating a Like button in the semblance of Facebook’s own Like button. Facebook clarifies this restriction in its guideline:

“You can use the Open Graph built-in like action to create custom buttons in your app, but the button must not emulate or otherwise copy the design of Facebook’s Like buttons. For example, you may not use a “thumbs up” image with the word “like” in your Open Graph actions, and any Like button you create must not confuse users into thinking that your Open Graph action will result in a connection to a Facebook Page.”

With mobile becoming more prevalent in our daily lives, this update will be a great indicator for just how much influence you carry throughout the ecosystem of your social presence. For Facebook users, it’s also a great way to garner a few more eyeballs to your social presence through your friend’s network.