HUGE: Facebook Lets Publishers Contact "Likers"

By Nick O'Neill Comment

Facebook Like Share IconsToday Facebook made a significant announcement: publishers can now publish content to the feeds of all people who liked a specific page. This is a significant step forward in the opening of Facebook Page functionality to the entire web. Also as part of the announcement, Facebook announced a minor, yet significant, upgrade that will convert all iFrame like buttons into share buttons as well.

This is the second step of Facebook providing all pages on the internet with the same tools that all Facebook Pages have. For example, let’s say you “like” this article. I will be able to send a news feed story to all Facebook users who liked that page. The impact of this is significant. Imagine the ability for any object that you like to be able to communicate with you directly through the news feed. In other words, all webpages on the internet immediately have become two-way communication channels.

Additionally, publishers will be able to track how that information was spread through Facebook via the addition of upgraded analytics features. As described in Facebook’s documentation, publishers can add the “ref” attribute to any like button and they will be passed back information about where new visitors came from on Facebook (‘home’, ‘profile’, ‘search’, or ‘other’). For example, I could add the ref attribute, and then view my Page Insights to find out what percentage of incoming visitors found the page through Facebook Search.

While this is nowhere near the final phase of Facebook’s continued opening of Pages to the web, this is a major step that will help empower publishers even more. We’ll be posting more details in the near future about the best practices surrounding the implementation of like buttons on your website. For more information, view today’s blog post from Facebook.