Facebook's 'Become a Fan' to 'Like' Change: Why Not Use 'Follow'?
Posted by Elmer in Geek on May 17, 2010

About a month ago, Facebook made the change so that all entities we have become fans of are now simply entities that we like. Prior to that change, I can click the "Become a Fan" button to receive updates, just like the outcome of following a Twitter user. Consequently, my name appears on the page profile as one of its fans while the page appears on my account profile. Obviously, "Like" is not new to Facebook. To signify my thumbs up feedback to a photo album or a friend's status update, I can easily click the "Like" button. According to Facebook, users click "Like" almost twice as much as they click "Become a Fan" -- so, it follows that if Facebook changes "Become a Fan" to "Like," more users will click on it. Whatever source Facebook such info was extracted, the numbers don't seem to add up.

"Liking" something is a quick and easy way to give props on something without making any involvement. If any, that may be the red notification dot or an email message informing me that someone "Liked" one of my posts. "Becoming a Fan" is different, because apart from receiving updates from say, Apple, other Facebook users who are not my friends can find me being one of Apple fans even if they can't find my profile through search. With the language change, Facebook tries to make connecting to a page more consistent with how users already interact with Facebook. But with this change also comes a possible confusion that people "Liking" pages think it's the same old casual acknowledgment of something they like rather than subscribing into. Since I mentioned Twitter earlier in this post, wouldn't it be more appropriate to rename "Become a Fan" to "Follow" instead of "Like"?

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