We recently revamped our share button arrangement (you should see it to the right) and made a conscious decision to include the FB Share button instead of the FB Like button which can still be found at the bottom of our articles.

Why? Well until today when a reader ‘liked’ (or ‘recommended’ in our case) a story, a single line of text would be posted into their Facebook profile for others to see. The Facebook Share button however, which although requires one extra step for the reader, includes a thumbnail by default along with a snippet of the story – something, I can assure you, matters.

Picture 1381 Liking a story now posts a thumbnail to your Facebook stream, just like the FB share button.

Today see’s Facebook change things.

Pressing the ‘like’ button on an article now means a thumbnail is also added by default to that item on your Facebook profile (as below), just like the Facebook share button.

The significance of this for publishers is not to be sniffed at. For a publisher looking to drive traffic, a thumbnail image included with a shared story can mean a significant amount of increased traffic. In the simplest of terms, a shared story that includes an image is far more likely to catch a persons Facebook friends’ eyes than one that merely includes a single line of text, which in turn leads to more click throughs and more traffic.

Picture 136 Liking a story now posts a thumbnail to your Facebook stream, just like the FB share button.

Facebook is already in most publishers top three sources of traffic. This move may very well cement the social networking behemoth at number one and the FB share button to the grave.

(Thanks @patrozoo!)