[Updated] Facebook website Like button is a disaster

by: Bradley Wint on May 21st, 2010 at 6:04 pm

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If you thought Facebook’s idea of “Liking” pages outside of Facebook was already bad, maybe you should see some current trends. With bored individuals out there who know a little bit about META tags in HTML, they have figured out a way to create spammy links on Facebook. Also, from a marketing perspective, the link has made your website’s presence less visible on peoples’ walls.

Spam Links

Honestly I thought that some type of character limit would have been in place to truncate external links liked to Facebook. However it seems this is not the case. The recently popularized site OMG Facts decided to add an entire paragraph excerpt into each of their posts’ page titles. When someone hit the Like button, it posted a long title on Facebook, giving users a long preview of what the fact was about.

Sounds like a good idea? Yes from the marketer’s point of view. However it was simply annoying for users who saw it clogging up their feeds. Just like the foolish fan pages, people started liking it like crazy causing it to appear many times on feeds. If that wasn’t bad enough, a bored person created a site with some crazy hidden META tag info. If you visit the site directly, the page title shows up as “Hai. – Paradox Development” but if you share it or link it to sites that pull meta data info, it shows a very long list of large smiley faces. It’s clear that the author made it for Facebook, because when you Like it, it shows up in 2 long columns on home page feeds. It’s so big that it even distorts the rest of the home pages.

Users are even complaining that resource hungry browsers on slow machines tend to get laggy after a short while, but this hasn’t stopped over 23,000 people from liking it. A simple answer would be to hide the users and report them, but with so many friends doing it, it simply defeats the purpose.

Less Visibility for Website Owners

Remember the famous Share button. When you clicked it from any site, it would pop open a post allowing you to share the page’s title, description and picture in a nice and short post. The good thing was that the post showed up on everyone’s feeds under normal circumstances. However, when you Like a link, there is a good chance that not every Like may appear in the feeds of others. Only if a number of friends Liked the same link on your friends list, then would it more likely show up.

With it being just a one liner as well, webmasters are basically setting themselves up for a bit of lowered publicity. It’s not like the Share posts were annoying, right? *non-sarcastic tone*

With all this said, who knows what other people may think up to exploit the button further, and how would Facebook be able to deal with the issue?

*Update* – It seems the outcry by many users has forced Facebook staff to implement a new truncation code for those long and annoying names. Wise move Facebook.

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Have Something To Say? One Person Did!

  • Chrissy – May 22nd, 2010 – 10:33 AM

    Someone called bewiiz made something that had ♥ I LOVE YOU ♥ all over the place. Its quick wit decided not to put THAT as the meta text, but the thing where you click to go. I cant explain it as well. But yup.