Out with the old: Most websites were not using the thumb Like button and switched to a words-only version with a lower case f. The new Like and Share button is expected to help drive more traffic to websites. *AFP photo
Out with the old: Most websites were not using the thumb Like button and switched to a words-only version with a lower case f. The new Like and Share button is expected to help drive more traffic to websites. *AFP photo
<
1
2
>

Facebook will be phasing out its iconic thumb’s up Like button over the next few weeks.

On Wednesday Facebook announced on its developer’s blog that it was dropping the iconic symbol.

It will be replaced by a Like and Share button, which the company says will help drive more traffic to websites.

Many websites were already using Like buttons without the thumb, but now it will go the way of the Dodo bird and the dinosaur. 

Developer Ray He wrote: “In 2010, we introduced the Like button to the world. Together, the Like and Share buttons are viewed over 22 billion times daily across more than 7.5 million websites. 

“Like and Share are important drivers of Facebook referral traffic, which is larger than all other social networks combined according to a recent Shareaholic report.

“Today, we’re introducing a new design for both Like and Share to help people share more great content across the web, We’re already seeing a favourable increase in Likes and Shares with the design and will be rolling these buttons out to everyone in the coming weeks. 

“If you’re currently using the old Like button, you’ll be automatically upgraded to the new design as part of our rolloout.

“We’v also made it easy for you to include the Like and Share buttons side by side and the Share button by itself.”

The new buttons can be seen above. 

The Huffington Post is one of the most popular websites in the world and was one of the first to adopt the new buttons.

Increase

Nico Pitney, The Huffington Post’s head of product, said in the release: “We place Like and Share buttons right below the headline of our articles and in a persistent left side bar that stays with the user when they scroll down the page. We want to give people every opportunity to like and share content, and, at this point, I like to think we’ve made it hard not to engage in social actions.”

Facebook said another early adopter was Hotels.com

Mr He said: “Since integrating both buttons, Hotels.com has seen a huge spike in the number of hotel bookers arriving directly from Facebook.”

Iain Niven-Bowling, Hotels.com product manager, told Facebook: “The stories that are generated when a customer clicks on the Like and Share buttons are clearly resonating with friends and groups..” 

He added the company has found that referral traffic converts to bookings at a higher rate than comapred to other types of traffic to their website. n