The Like button feature for websites created by Facebook earlier this year is fast gaining attention from e-commerce and media companies which have seen increases in sales after using it.
The pale blue Like button lets Facebook users nonchalantly express their approval for a brand, item or product and broadcast that back to the social networking site. In the months since its debut, more than 350,000 sites have installed it ranging from retailer BestBuy.com to TMZ.
Facebook was already an immense source of traffic for lots of the most popular sites on the internet, generating clicks to other sites as its 500m users shared links with their friends. As clicking the Like button is so easy, its rollout has facilitated this trend.
IMDB, the online film database, has seen traffic from Facebook double since it installed the Like button throughout the site.
Tea Collection, a children’s clothing site, is using the Like button to let users vote on which items they want discounts on. When Tea Collection first tried the promotion, over 3,000 people voted on summer dresses, and the most popular ones sold out the next day. Visits to the site were up 300 per cent, and sales were 10 times the average daily amount.
Bret Taylor, Facebook’s director of platform, said the Like button made it simpler for content from websites to spread. “It is demand generation rather than demand fulfilment,” he said. “It’s like seeing a print advertisement in a magazine and going around and handing it all your friends.”
Now companies are finding new and innovative uses for the Like button. TheFind.com, a comparison shopping site, recently unveiled a section of the site that refines results based on a user’s previous likes on other sites on the web. “These are the building blocks for social commerce,” said Siva Kumar, chief executive of TheFind.
Facebook also stands to benefit from the Like button. By encouraging users to flag their preferences as they travel around the web, Facebook is furtively compiling a map of the web.