Facebook Rolls Out New Look For The Third-Party Like Button

Facebook has begun rolling out a new design of the Like button for use on 3rd party websites. The number of likes a piece of content has now appears in a speech bubble next to the button, and becomes encompassed in the button when clicked. To make it obvious when a click will unlike something, the thumbs up icon changes to an undo arrow when hovered over.

Some variations of the button are slimmer, but at least one variation is slightly wider than its old version, which could cause conversion issues. In some cases the right edge of the button can be cut off if there isn’t enough space. The button now matches the speech bubble style of sharing buttons for Google Buzz and Twitter.

Facebook tells us the following: “The switch was recently flipped to begin rolling out new variations of the Like button. The new features are based on partner feedback and are aimed at making the user experience more seamless.” The Like button was released in April at F8, and has since been installed on more than 350,000 sites as a way for people to share their affinity for a piece of third party content back to Facebook.

The old design had some issues, such as the Like count floating in blank space next to the button which could make the number seem unrelated. When clicked, the button turned a dark blue and had no feedback mechanism when hovered over to denote what would happen if clicked again. This may have caused some to accidentally unlike things they’d previously liked. The new design clears up these issues, and makes the post-clicked button look similar to the like counts on news feed stories on Facebook’s main site.

The Like button’s functionality is not affected by the design change. Sites still have a choice between standard and “Like with comment” variations as well as a variety of Share and Recommend buttons. As more sites see the new design implemented, we’ll monitor if the change has any influence on the average number of likes a piece of content receives.

[Image via TechCrunch.]

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