Q. What’s the difference between Like and Share on Facebook, and which one should I add on my site?
A: Facebook like and share are similar, but have some distinct differences. Here’s an overview of how they each work:
|When Facebook user Jacob chooses to like a web page, it will immediately appear as one line of text on his profile page, along with a small “thumbs up” icon. It’s fairly discreet. For example: “Jacob likes Cinnabon.”|
|When Facebook user Janina chooses to share a web page, it will appear to her friends in her status feed with a personalized caption of her choice and optional thumbnail image. For example: “I just played the Cinnopoly game at Cinnabon and I won a free drink! You should play it today.”|
Share posts a link to the user’s status feed (along with a thumbnail and description) and allows users to personalize the post with a caption. Like is less likely to display to friends, although it can display in the status feed under some conditions.
- Higher visibility to user’s friends in the Facebook status stream
- Allows user to add a personalized caption & select a thumbnail image
- Added to user’s wall & news feed
- Takes longer, requires more steps
- Page owner doesn’t get a record of the Share occurring
- Can be used to make negative statements about a page
- Not quantified, no reporting of how many people shared this page
- It’s very quick. It only takes one click of a mouse.
- Likes are quantified to show popularity on your company’s Facebook page.
- Like is inherently positive. There is no “dislike” button
- Facebook users can see if their friends like your page; this information is displayed directly on your site
- Like will often lead to an immediate share. After clicking like, your website visitors can be prompted to immediately share something personal about your business with their friends, if they so choose. This requires that you use the XFBML embed format.
- If you are a Facebook advertisers, likes will display along with your ads
- Using OG tags, Like will allow you to take advantage of the additional capability to publish to the visitor’s stream (more on this in a future post)
- Lower visibility
- No personalized captions or thumbnail images
Which to choose? You could include both like and share, just like Danny Sullivan. But if we had to choose only one, we would select like with an XFBML embed. Why not enjoy the best of both worlds? It will allow your company to benefit from all the advantages of like and allow your customers to optionally share when they want to do so.
Developer instructions for adding the like button can be found here.