You “Like” That? Do You “Want” It?

By now the concept of “Liking” something is just as every day as the sun rising (unless you live in Vancouver, where the sun doesn’t shine anymore). With 800 million users on Facebook, there’s a lot to “Like” out there. Soon there could be a lot more than that—there’ll be a lot to “Want” too.

That’s right, a developer has uncovered some code on Facebook that could mean a new feature is on the way. Soon the “Like” button may get a friend, a “Want” button!

Just imagine the possibilities! No really, try to. I can’t. I’ve read statues or viewed links that I’ve “Liked”. I’ve read some I’ve disliked too but sadly there’s no way to indicate that (and there never will)… If a friend posts a depressing status the options have been to either ignore it, respond with a “hugs!” or “like” it, just to show I’m emoting some sort of feeling. Another option would be great, but I don’t think “Want” is the answer. So why add that in?

It’s simple really—for advertisers. It’s the reason Facebook does anything. You think the social network that you access for free changes things to help you share more out of the goodness of its heart? Hardly.

The more Facebook knows about you, the better it can target ads to you. It’s just like Google and it’s aim to “serve you better.” Apparently simply liking something just shows you have interest in the subject or product. Maybe you even have the item already. Wanting something means you have desire to obtain it. If the social network knows what sort of products you “want” then you’re going to get bombarded with a lot more ads for those same items.

I personally never even notice the ads running up the right hand side of my Facebook experience. I also admittedly access the great Facebook primarily on my iPhone, which means no ads! (and a big problem for Facebook). Perhaps this new feature is simply to help boost ad revenue for those updating statuses and checking their news feeds via the web, in an effort to offset the lack of ad impressions for mobile users. Regardless, don’t be surprised when this new button pops up.

If Facebook builds it, will you “want” it?

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.