Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Life by Sam Huleatt

Will Likes be the New Currency of the Web?

A week ago I was in San Francisco for F8 and I’m glad I was.

Several months earlier I wrote about the impending “Facebook gold rush” and I believe it’s beginning to materialize. Facebook is a true force and I don’t think people realize the magnitude of what they have been accomplishing.

The move to create a universal Like button is fascinating because it highlights a key distinction between Facebook and Google strategies: the hyperlink vs. the Like. My guess is that when Facebook borrowed the Like concept from Friendfeed they never expected the volume of Liking that materialized. Likes are in many ways a lower friction form of link sharing. Thus as websites begin to implement Likes (50,000 have already), Facebook begins to challenge Google on many levels. The foundation of Google Search is page rank, and thus hyperlinks. By pushing web visitors away from sharing links in favor of clicking “Like”, Facebook begins to challenge Google in a way that may not be immediately obvious, but is most definitely ambitious and possibly game changing.

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  • bartknows

    I have intuition telling me there's really something remarkable in the nature of engagement with the real world. Let's not forget that human beings are still engaged with the world regardless of perspective (or lack thereof).

    Seeing the data flow into conscious pools of analysis give the vote of information the power to architect the value of the world we co-create throughout the world. No machine algorithm or page rank can influence that, only surface it as the voice of the collective.

    We like what we like, regardless of who we are. If only we could put a face to the most likable and engaged, we would be violating the rational economic mindset by factoring people back into the equation of supply and demand.

  • http://leveragingideas.com/ Sam Huleatt

    That's an intense comment that I will need to ponder to provide a well
    thought-out response :)

  • http://budurl.com/ynfr Megan Zuniga

    It sure looks that way. Facebook wants to conquer the world wide web. They learned from google. Now, we cannot surf the net without google. And now, FB wants to dominate same way google did. From what I understood, FB wants people to surf the web thru FB. For me, it all kinda smells like invasion of privacy. Google has done it and FB did. There will be less anonimity in the web.

  • http://leveragingideas.com/ Sam Huleatt

    The privacy question is a good one. Seth Goldstein has some good
    observations on Facebook and privacy in this video:
    http://blog.socialmedia.com/sharing-is-sexy/

    Yes, Facebook believes the web is best enjoyed “socially” so that
    everything you see is personalized to you and your social graph. It
    does make for a better experience, it's just a question of: at what
    cost?

  • http://leveragingideas.com/ Sam Huleatt

    I tend to agree with this. It's also interesting because liking is NOT
    cross platform whereas link sharing is so there are ramifications for
    how viral ones content can become

  • Dan

    Yeah, and I hate this. Hyperlinks are public: anyone who can make a better search engine can do it. “Like” buttons are private. Facebook wants a lock. Evil.

  • http://leveragingideas.com/ Sam Huleatt

    I tend to agree with this. It's also interesting because liking is NOT
    cross platform whereas link sharing is so there are ramifications for
    how viral ones content can become

  • bartknows

    I believe I can make liking public-er.

  • samirsoriano

    Awesome writeup. This social-graph is huge – so many of my friends Like products now, just because other friends like it. It's a viral spread of branding.

  • http://leveragingideas.com/ Sam Huleatt

    Thanks @samir and interesting. Your comment made me think about
    whether the fact that likes are constrained to social graph boundaries
    may actually make them more authentic in some ways that simply
    re-tweeting a hyperlink.

    Also would love to learn more about retargeter.com

  • Pingback: The Rise of the Social Gesture | Leveraging Ideas

  • meganzuniga

    This sounds like great news for marketing people.

  • samirsoriano

    Hey Sam,

    If you want to learn more about ReTargeter, I actually just wrote up a post here: http://bit.ly/aXHSko

    I'm curious to know what you think about it

  • http://jfknet.com/social-media-marketing-plan Social Media Marketing Plan

    I think similar metrics will become commonplace. Obviously the more something is liked, the more important the content would be deemed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SCGGB4TRJPJORCXZNZD46XO5D4 Chuck Jones

    My guess is that when Facebook borrowed the Like concept from Friendfeed they never expected the volume of Liking that materialized. Likes are in many ways a lower friction form of link sharing.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SCGGB4TRJPJORCXZNZD46XO5D4 Chuck Jones

    Yahoo related terms accounted for six spots while MySpace terms accounted for four searches across the search engines. Other search terms that were among the top 10 searches for all three search engines include youtube, facebook login, craigslist and yahoo mail.

  • http://www.lacostepoloshirtsshop.co.uk lacoste polo shirts

    nice info. thanks.. 
    I’ll choose one of them.

  • lasley herald

    Yahoo related terms accounted for six seats, while the terms represented four MySpace search several search engines. Other keywords that have been among the top 10 searches for each of the three search engines such as YouTube, Facebook login, Craigslist and Yahoo Mail.

    Mantek Australia