Nov. 7, 2013 at 11:33 AM ET
Facebook is never going to give us that thumbs-down "Don't Like" button everybody claims they want, but on Thursday, the world's largest social network did roll out a fresh design for its ubiquitous Like button, the one clicked by Internet users more than 22 billion times a day on more than 7.5 million websites. That famous "thumbs up" is all but gone, replaced instead with a little "f" ... for "Facebook."
You'll still be able to give a "thumbs up" while you're on the social network — this redesign covers the buttons you find on news articles and retail items. Introduced on the very same day Twitter begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange, this fresh new Like design is accompanied by a newly designed Share button, which allows users to comment as well as like.
Both buttons options are "important drivers of Facebook referral traffic, which is larger than all other social networks combined," Facebook software engineer Ray C. He reminds the world, via the Facebook Developer Blog. That factoid comes courtesy of Shareholic, a social media tracking firm which exists because Facebook and its (currently) lesser competitors such as Twitter bank on looking valuable to third-party websites that carry their referral buttons.
The Like button is considered "one of Facebook's most valuable brand assets," product manager Ling Bao told The Verge. A brighter blue and hipster-beloved Helvetica type sets this new Like button apart from the original design, a dot matrix-looking affair that hasn't changed a lick since it debuted in 2010. Websites are encouraged to use the newly designed Like and Share button together "to drive Facebook referral traffic to your website."
The official Facebook's announcement is far more business-oriented than Twitter's, when it introduced a slimmed-down version of its iconic bird logo in July 2012.
"Our new bird grows out of love for ornithology, design within creative constraints, and simple geometry," Twitter gushed. "From now on, this bird will be the universally recognizable symbol of Twitter. (Twitter is the bird, the bird is Twitter.)" Of course, that was before Twitter was a publicly-traded company. Now that the competitors are both publicly traded companies, things are going to get a lot more serious for everyone.