Yet Another Facebook Story: The Difference Between “Fans” And “Likes”

Brian Solis is a PR guy. Naturally, he doesn’t refer to himself as such, becasue “digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist” sounds so much better.
Speaking of sounding so much better, Solis does us the favor of distinguishing between today’s Facebook “Like” and the old “Fan” motif that FB used to employ.

In Facebook, it’s not just about who we’re connected to, it’s about those we’re not. What started as “Fans” has evolved to “Likes” and in that simple shift in phraseology comes something quite profound. “Fans” implies a hierarchical relationships where brands publish at will to a community that feels a bit more like a traditional audience. “Likes” begets a linear form of relationships where we earn the endorsement of a social consumer, but in order to foster a community, we have to continue to do so. This introduces a peer-to-peer (P2P) dynamic where rather than program our Facebook activity from a top-down perspective, we now have to consider an active participatory role in earning Likes, attention, and hopefully advocacy much more frequently than we may have anticipated initially.

Solis himself is busy earning attention with his new YouTube channel, BrianSolisTV. Here’s an early episode:

Which leads me to wonder about YouTube’s own “Like” button. It can’t be as good as Facebook’s. And really, is there room for more than one “Like” button in your life?

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.