Last week, developer Tom Waddington uncovered Facebook code that points to the creation of a “Want” button — a plugin that potentially points to a new kind of commercial innovation being developed by Facebook itself, different from “want” buttons already being developed by third parties (one example here), and partially working but only within Facebook’s Graph API tester.
He’s continued to dig around and today has presented us with some of his latest finds: looking deeper into Facebook’s code, he found more references that point to how Facebook might be thinking about how users can share purchasing information with each other.
I think that the fact of the matter is that Like is insufficient for consumer preference signal aggregation.
A Like is first an active, then passive form of public endorsement. The Like also provides the opportunity to reach the user in their news feed. These two very different use cases is just the start of the reasons why FB must segment preferences.
If you look at the G+ implementation, we have +1s and Follows. A strategy which distinguishes between the variance in intent.
"Want" is just the start of what we will see, as FB attempts to structure consumer preference carefully across many potential use cases. For example I may click on an "Endorse or Recommend" button for my local dentist, but I don't want him on my news feeds.
There are many different reasons that drove these individuals to Like. If FB consumer preferences data is hedged exclusively on this largely unstructured set of data, it will be very sloppy. The closer they get to the intent of the consumer's preference, the more powerful their data will become.