Picture 608 Confirmed: Facebook has merged its Like and Share buttons. Slight catch though.Facebook recently introduced the world to its Open Graph vision and with it came the Facebook ‘Like’ button.

Prior to the Like button, Facebook had its own retweet, like Share button which gave users the ability to share content they came across into their Facebook stream.

Both the ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ Buttons did very similar things except the Share Button would permit images and other content to be imported whereas ‘likes’ would simply show a comment like format in your personal Facebook feed showing that you had liked something (shown below).

Picture 609 Confirmed: Facebook has merged its Like and Share buttons. Slight catch though.

At some point in the last 24 hours, Facebook seems to have sensibly combined the two and in effect made the original Share Button negligible. As a publisher, this is welcome news, with the masses of buttons and limited space, being able to remove one button shouldn’t feel this satisfying.

We’ve contacted Facebook for confirmation and will update this post with further details as soon as we hear back from them.

Update: We’ve received confirmation from Facebook that the Like and Share button counters will now show identical figures. Both perform the same functionality except the share button will allow the sharing of images into streams in a much more obvious manner, whereas the ‘Like’ button will only show the above formatting when it appears in a user’s stream unless you insert the URL of the post into comment. Make sense?
Try it with out like option. Like this post and then copy and paste the URL of the post into the comment field that appears after. This isn’t just a way for us to get you liking our stuff by the way.

The official statement:

Share is still an option, however we merged the external count so that the count represents total interactions with the URL.

Additionally, ‘like’ still gives you the ability to publish an image when a comment is added (through the XFBML version).