Facebook Changes "Fan" to "Like": We Were Once Formerly Known As Fans


Facebook Fan Page Changes to LikeFacebook...always keeping us on our toes! This week, Facebook changed one word on their user interface - the "fan" button, from "fan" to "like", as we'd blogged about earlier. We will have to wait and see what the audience reaction is like, but this affects both business owners and their audiences alike.

Just when business owners on Facebook were getting comfortable with the term "Fan my page!", placed it on their websites, and sent email to friends, that term is, for the moment, obsolete. The new term is, I suppose, "Like my page!" Here's what this change means for your business:

  • The button on your business (former) fan page will now say "Like" with a thumbs up illustration. It used to say "Become a Fan".
  • Ads you create on Facebook to promote your business fan page will now simply say "Like" at the bottom of them, and that is what your potential new fan will click on to connect with your page.
  • The business page shows who of your "Friends Likes This," as well as all "People Like This" with numbers next to each. The measure of fans has been replaced by a measure of all people who Like the page.
    Facebook Friends Like This
  • The behavior of the business fan page is not changing as of yet. Pictures, status updates, notes, videos, and anything that the administrator posts to the page will show up in the News Feed of the person who clicked "Like", and essentially connected with, or linked themselves, with your business page.
  • Any social networking experts who are writing articles about this and other Facebook business fan pages will need to watch their Google Analytics website stats to see if searchers are searching for "fan page" or "business page" as they craft their SEO writing techniques for targeting these terms.

Some benefits of this change could be that you see a slight increase, or maybe a surge, in new fans (or whatever they will be called now).

Some repercussions of this change is that users might not know about it. They are used to clicking the "Like" link with the thumbs up next to it to show their support of a friend's comment or photo. This only connected them with the thread of that comment, photo, or anything else that was posted. At most, the only interaction that occurred after that click was that they would get notices in their "Notifications" tab that that Susie Q also commented on Bob's photo. Now, with this "Like" of an entire page, the user links in with a very interactive page. They connect with it, or in a sense, join it. Clicking "Like" for a business page, if the user can even tell that that is what they are doing, will mean this for their Facebook experience:

  • User will see business page updates in their News Feed, including status updates, links, new photos, new videos, auto-blog updates, and more.
  • User will receive "Updates" which may or may not go to their personal email inboxes, depending on how their Facebook settings are set up. Updates are available in the section where the Inbox lives, in a link under the Inbox. Updates are basically emails that a business page sends out to those formerly known as fans.

For the business owner, this is not a terrible change. It very likely means more people formerly known as fans are attached to the page. As a prospective fan, this could be annoying, and affect the Facebook experience. Facebook has revved its engines again to sell its highly active environment to businesses by connecting websites with people, and this is part of that effort. We'll wait it out to see if there are any amendments to this simple change, but in the meantime, you may want to change the lingo on your website and how you refer to your fan page. Because it's no longer a fan page. It's the Artist Formerly Known As A Fan Page, and fans are mere Likes Formerly Known As Fans.