The Like Button, made famous by Facebook, has officially hit its 10th anniversary — and it’s so ubiquitous that it’s hard to imagine our internet without it.
In case you don’t remember the dark, wild time of 2007, let me give you a quick crash course: Facebook didn’t create the Like button, per se. The button originally debuted October 30, 2007 on a platform called FriendFeed. At the time, it just looked like a blue hyperlink with the word “Like” as anchor text.
— Paul Buchheit (@paultoo) October 30, 2017
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FriendFeed, which was acquired by Facebook in 2009 and shut down in 2015, may have been the first to debut the feature, but Facebook engineer Andrew Bosworth later claimed something similar had been in the works at Zuckerberg’s company earlier. Still, it was Facebook which popularized the feature.
I don’t think you can overstate how much the Like button has changed human communication. It’s a marker of social esteem, an expression of solidarity, and often an adequate replacement for trifling niceties — all in one.
Nowadays, it’s pretty much the norm for any form of social media to have a button to deliver shorthand approval — hearts, thumbs ups, Facebook’s own catalog of Reactions. If a site doesn’t have one, they’ll just borrow Facebook’s. It’s the beginning and end of digital discourse in one blue button.