Facebook's like button, the familiar blue icon that is found on millions of pages around the web, is getting a new look. The company is introducing a redesigned version of the icon that ditches Facebook's company logo in favor of a thumbs-up icon. "Our hypothesis was that more people would recognize the thumbs-up icon on the like button, so we conducted qualitative and quantitative tests to measure them side by side," the company said in a blog post. "The results revealed a 6 percent increase in likes, so we are switching the like button from the Facebook 'f' logo to the thumbs-up icon."
The move is part of a broader redesign of Facebook's social plugin buttons that makes them flatter and more distinct. Previously, the buttons for liking and sharing both used Facebook's corporate logo. Now they have their own icons. There are also new icons for following, recommending, and saving articles to read later. Facebook is also adding buttons for liking, sharing, and commenting to its fast-loading Instant Articles format in the next couple weeks, the company said.
Here are some answers to some questions you are having right now about the like button.
Is the new like button objectively better than the old like button?
It's a mixed bag. The thumbs-up icon makes more sense than the Facebook logo, but the old design drew a nice visual distinction between the button and the number of likes. The new design puts everything in a single blue rectangle. Now it kind of looks as if "like" is an approximation — this page has, like, 68K!
For the love of God, what is the difference between a share button and a like button?
The share button creates a new Facebook post linking to the page where you clicked the button and lets you add a personal message before you post it. Clicking the like button shares the post on Facebook without giving you a chance to add a message — unless the button is linked to a brand page, in which case clicking it means you will now see future stories from that publisher in the News Feed.
Why do these actions have the same name?
I don't know!
OK, and the recommend button?
The recommend button has a function identical to the like button, but has a different name in case the publisher gets weirded out about asking people to "like" stories about genocide or whatever.
Where do I go to like The Verge on Facebook?
Why, right here!