The like and the favorite are the new metrics of success—very literally.Not only are they ego-feeders for the stuff we put online as individuals, but advertisers track their campaigns on Facebook by how often they are liked.
"Liking on Facebook is an economic act," according to Wired's Mat Honan and going on a liking rampage has dramatic effects to the personality of your social feed. Honan discovered just how dramatic the impact of indiscriminate liking was when for two days he liked (almost) everything that came his way. His feed went from one populated by messages from humans to overrun with messages from brands, his political allegiances careened from one extreme to the other and the number of clickbait items multiplied like rabbits (QUICK, check out this cloud that looks like a penis!). Interestingly, there was a remarkable difference between his feed on desktop and mobile; while his desktop feed still provided the chance to interact with friends his mobile feed became the domain of branded messages.
A recent New York Times story on a krill oil ad campaign lays bare how much the like matters to advertisers. Liking is an economic act.
I like everything. Or at least I did, for 48 hours. Literally everything Facebook sent my way, I liked—even if I hated it. I decided to embark on a campaign of conscious liking, to see how it would affect what Facebook showed me. I know this sounds like a stunt (and it was) but it was also genuinely just an open-ended experiment. I wasn’t sure how long I’d keep it up (48 hours was all I could stand) or what I’d learn (possibly nothing.)