Facebook Users Will Soon “Like” a Page to Become a Fan, not “Become a Fan”

Facebook is changing some terminology around how people become fans of its Pages product, a move that could be somewhat confusing but has apparently worked well in the company’s tests.

“People will soon connect with your Brand Pages by clicking ‘Like’ rather than ‘Become a Fan,” the company recently began telling advertising agencies about the change, according to Facebook documents obtained by ClickZ and MediaMemo. ”People already ‘Like’ their friends’ status updates, photos and links everyday. In fact, people click “Like” almost two times more than they click “Become a Fan” everyday,” Facebook’s update days.

The changes are coming “soon” although a timetable has not been finalized and neither have all the details. The new term appears to affect advertising for Pages on Facebook, including both performance ads and brand-focused marketing ads, as you can see from the screenshots below. The company doesn’t say how other instances of “Become a Fan” will be changed, such as the wording for the “Become a Fan” button on Pages themselves.

One reason people click “like” more often than “Become a Fan” is probably due to the fact that it already means something else, as Facebook notes — that users are registering their approval of content that appears in their news feeds, walls, etc.. However, the reason that anything appears to them on Facebook is that they have already decided it should, through friending somebody, becoming a fan of a Page, etc. In this case, of course, Facebook is changing the definition of “like” so that it doesn’t just mean interacting with content. Now it means becoming a fan — an equivalent move, theoretically, would be “liking” somebody in order to become their friend, rather than literally requesting to become their friend.

So, with the change, users might click “like” a few times on Page ads, then discover that they’ve become a fan of when they thought they were just registering approval. But Facebook has already addressed this point in the FAQ in the document:

Q: How will users differentiate “Like” to connect to a Page, versus “Like” to show positive sentiments to an ad?

A: Users will understand the distinction through explicit social context, messaging and aesthetic differences. An Engagement ad unit, capable of making connections, will feature the “Like” button and show social context above it such as, “John Doe and 3 of your friends like [Page Name].” Standard ad units, not capable of making connections, will simply feature the word “Like” by itself, and may show social context above it that says “John Doe and 3 of your friends like this ad.”

Facebook’s stat — “people click “Like” almost two times more than they click “Become a Fan” everyday” — suggests the company has been testing out the changes and is happy with the user response so far.

If so far, so good, then what other changes can we expect? Like how will “liking” an ad for a Page be reflected in the news feed? From Facebook’s FAQ:
A: We are still iterating on this. However, it will probably look similar to: “John Doe likes [Page Name]” with a thumbs up icon below and a time stamp. Next to the time stamp there is a linked “Like”, which connects any friend who clicks on that “Like” to your Page. To eliminate confusion and promote consistency, there will no longer be a way to give feedback on these types of News Feed stories—commenting or liking (in the current sense).

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38 Responses to “Facebook Users Will Soon “Like” a Page to Become a Fan, not “Become a Fan””

  1. geneiva mctavish says:

    Hi i hope you can help me, my sister has leukemia one of her friends from years ago have started a group trying to raise funds but depositing the funds into her own personal bank account my family is really upset regarding this if this continues it willl lead to legal action i have reported the gropu but nothing happened i would like it be removed please.
    My family is under alot of stress at the moment and dont need this not at all please remove Karaln updates group thank you so much

  2. abi says:

    awesome! its about time…

  3. Renagade says:

    I whole heartedly agree with this move.
    To become a ‘Fan’ of a artist, band, or actor is one thing, but whoever saids they are a ‘fan’ of XYZ store?
    I feel the interaction will increase with this simple but highly effective word change.

  4. Dean Collins says:

    Yeh no kidding people are clicking on it twice as much, because they dont realise the change.

    i love how facebook PR tries to spin stuff.

    I just wish they would document stuff and stick with it, maybe update changes enmass twice a year or something, as a facebook publisher (eg; http://www.facebook.com/LiveNascarChat ) it’s getting really annoying trying to keep up with old outdated API advise in the manuals etc. Plus undocumentated changes liek this – just makes you wonder why bother.

  5. Suzanne Marlatt says:

    This is very interesting. I think users will be confused at first since “like” is a simple function on Facebook. We’ll have to see how this plays out.

  6. Ian says:

    I’m not happy about this. Are we all supposed to change the messaging on our own sites from “become a fan of XYZ on Facebook…” (or whatever) to “please say you like us…”

  7. Linkwertig: Digital Due Process, Xing, Smava, Twitter » netzwertig.com says:

    [...] » Facebook Users Will Soon ‘Like’ a Page to Become a Fan, not ‘Become a Fan’ [...]

  8. RS says:

    I love the spin that was given. This is all about driving ad revenue by obfuscation. And even as an advertiser who runs ‘Become a Fan’ ads both on the home page and the sidebar I don’t care for the idea as I like the current delineation. This is just another semantics game that’s going to confuse/irritate users and advertisers will wind up with ‘fanbases’ that are increasingly diluted and ignoring them in the feed. Water down your product in the pursuit of chasing marketing dollars and you’ll ironically water down your share of marketing dollars that we allocate from our overall marketing budgets.

  9. Benjamin Barnett says:

    This is certainly not totally true. It’s perhaps a good idea to remember that by “opting-in” and becoming a “fan” you are perhaps a more qualified Actor / Interactor. This does depend on the product in question. Using “like” to establish a “networking” link is a form of “passive” social media strategy that can mean just what it says “I like”. It does not mean “I will use” the product or recommend the connection.

  10. What’s Up Wednesdays: Looking Around « Beyond the Rhetoric says:

    [...] a Facebook page, like the one set up for Beyond the Rhetoric, you’ll simply indicate that you like it instead, just like how you can “like” a status [...]

  11. BUMAGEXCHANGE says:

    [...] http://www.insidefacebook.com/2010/03/29/facebook-users-will-soon-like-a-page-to-become-a-fan-not-be… [...]

  12. Facebook to Change Language from “Become a Fan” to “Like” « Wildfire Social Media Marketing Blog says:

    [...] has stated that in changing the wording from “Become a Fan” to “Like,” they expect users to be more comfortable committing to use the word around brands and other Fan Pages. Facebook has also said that changing [...]

  13. Brent Billock » Blog Archive » Facebook Turns “Fans” into “Likes” says:

    [...] to fan pages, removing the existing “Become a Fan” call to action, according to a post by Inside Facebook. Facebook announced the change in confidential emails sent to ad agencies (and leaked to ClickZ and [...]

  14. Are you likeable? Changes for Facebook pages | Beaconfire Wire says:

    [...] Facebook is changing how your supporters connect with your page.  Until now, Facebook users have been asked to “become a fan” of pages – showing that they are a fan of your organization, company, or brand.  Soon, they will instead get to “like” your page, and “liking” a page will grant the same connections and privileges as being a fan.  They’ll be able to “like” your ads as well. [...]

  15. To “Like” or to “Fan” The Facebook Page “?” « ConvoSpark–A Social Media Agency says:

    [...] and at this point it seems to be more than just a rumor.  Facebook is looking to develop a “Like” button for the entire web.  What does this mean exactly?  This most likely means that [...]

  16. Become a Fan says:

    This is stupid. BRING BACK BECOME A FAN!!!!!!!!

  17. Facebook Fanseite: “Gefällt mir” statt “Fan werden” | WebmarketingBlog.at says:

    [...] dieser Änderung soll laut InsideFacebook.com sein, dass die User viel öfter “Gefällt mir” zu etwas sagen, als daß sie Fan von [...]

  18. mercurist says:

    this change is entirely marketing driven.

    further, it creates a third-grade-like grammatical curiosity, in that one no longer is a “fan of Hulk Hogan” but “*likes* Hulk Hogan”; not to mention that it wreaks havoc when coupled with the more humorous, lengthily titled pages. . .

    facebook’s focus groups are clearly out-of-focus.

  19. Tobias says:

    Many people hate this new feature – please undo it!!

  20. Inside Social Apps 2010: Mark Pincus Keynote on Growing the Social Gaming Industry says:

    [...] on each of these ideas — which it has, to an extent, with its various user feed updates and its new Like button, which Pincus called “the most innovative social mechanic created in the last couple of [...]

  21. Chivy Chabanna says:

    Bring back Geocities. This facebook stuff is way complicated, man.

  22. crs says:

    hell that sucks… they should re-enable the comment function for this button!

  23. Final thoughts on the Facebook Fans vs. Like debate | Lava Row says:

    [...] new here, you might want to subscribe to our RSS feed for future blog updates.On Monday Facebook switched on a new feature that allows users to like Pages (reserved for brands, companies, celebrities, etc.) instead of [...]

  24. Scott Costello says:

    Has anyone noticed an increase in blog pageviews because of this change? I have my blog feed hooked up to my fan page and my views have doubled. I don’t think it’s because I’ve gotten more “Fans” though. I’m thinking that everytime someone visits my fan page it ticks off a page view for all the current blog articles showing on my front page. It’s skewing my data big time!

  25. It's All About the Bark » Like Facebook? says:

    [...] you still have questions, feel free to read this article from Inside Facebook for more details. Categories: Uncategorized Previous post: Bringing Back A Little Piece of [...]

  26. Strandh.DigitalPR » Blog Archive » Facebook blir webbens centrum says:

    [...] valde i mars att ändra på terminologin: Bli fan till har blivit att Gilla något. Fan pages är idag bara Pages. Dedikerade till företag, varumärken och organisationer. Det som [...]

  27. Ajay Jain says:

    This is nuts – Pages were about engagement and building relationships. Fans meant they ‘belonged.’ Must be someone sitting bored at Facebook and needed something to do.

  28. like for like « eskimon says:

    [...] many of you will already know, Facebook recently moved from “Becoming a Fan” of a brand to simply “Liking” [...]

  29. I Liked You on Facebook and All I Got Was A Boring Status Post « Curious Thoughts From Curious Minds says:

    [...] Cacy A few months ago, I fanned [editor's note: Facebook continues to shift its terminology-- fan pages are now something that users "like"].  I had read dozens of articles about how so many brands were using social media and I wanted to [...]

  30. Christina Gomez says:

    After making the “Become A Fan” button a “Like” button, Facebook made the people “Like” the comments too. So, next time, would it be “Like” now, not “Friends”? I hope you make an unlike button too, or dislike.

  31. Martin Lewis says:

    Hello All,

    Aaand where do i find list (or something like preview) of pages i’ve buttoned ‘LIKE’?

    Thx

  32. self sagacity says:

    How can I add the like page to my Facebook home page?

  33. Why the new Twitter is a load of old Twit « Michael Taggart says:

    [...] For example brands spent millions driving people to fan pages and then, suddenly, Facebook decided they weren’t going to call them fan pages anymore.   [...]

  34. Why the new Twitter is a load of old Twit « Michael Taggart says:

    [...] For example brands spent millions driving people to fan pages and then, suddenly, Facebook decided they weren’t going to call them fan pages anymore. [...]

  35. Yup. http://www.insidefacebook.com/2010/03/29/facebook-users-will-soon-like-a-page-to-become-a-fan-not-become-a-fan/ | Josh Holden's Tweets says:

    [...] http://www.insidefacebook.com/2010/03/29/facebook-users-will-soon-like-a-page-to-become-a-fan-not-be… This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← I rated a YouTube video [...]

  36. MyLikesBoxは「いいね!」したページが一覧できるアプリ―Facebookの標準機能にしてもらいたい says:

    [...] FacebookのLike(「いいね!」)は、もともとは「ファンになる」と表現されていた。Facebookがこれを「いいね!」に変え、「ファンページ」を単に「ページ」に変更して以降、その意義ははるかに広くなり、同時にあいまいさも増した。いちばん困るのは自分がどのページで「いいね!」ボタンを押したか簡単に表示する方法がないことだ。いちいち「プロフィール→基本データ→アクティビティー→その他」を開かねばならない。しかも表示はテキストが羅列されるだけで、ビジュアルに一覧することができない。 [...]

  37. No more ‘fan’ pages! | e1evation, llc says:

    [...] The changes are coming “soon” although a timetable has not been finalized and neither have all the details. The new term appears to affect advertising for Pages on Facebook, including both performance ads and brand-focused marketing ads, as you can see from the screenshots below. The company doesn’t say how other instances of “Become a Fan” will be changed, such as the wording for the “Become a Fan” button on Pages themselves.” Source: Facebook Users Will Soon “Like” a Page to Become a Fan, not “Become a Fan” [...]

  38. Spherion is ranked #31 in the Top Franchises on Facebook Rankings! | Spherion Staffing says:

    [...] in partnership with digital media audit and analysis leader M-IQ, tallied the number of Fans (officially known as “Likes” — for you social media sticklers out there) on any given franchisor’s Facebook page, using [...]

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