What are Your Friends Liking on Facebook?

Once I got over the “okay, this is creepy” part of reacting to Likebutton, I started enjoying it. But it did take a little while to get over the “huh?” reaction.

All right, let’s back up. Like Button ( ) is a Web site that looks up sites your friends have Like’d, and lays them all out in a useful grid. The creep/startle factor is that this is not Facebook; this is somewhere else. (If you are not logged in to Facebook, you’ll get a reminder to login and a list of links that are more universally popular.)

Like Button divides your friends’ liked content into several boxes in a grid, including YouTube, CNN, Pandora, and The New York Times. Each box has four or five items from your friends that they’ve “liked” recently. (You can expand boxes into full pages’ worth of content if you want to see more.) If this setup is too general for you, you can use the pulldown menu to specify more categorical fare, like Tech, Entertainment, and Video. The page will refresh with one large column and several smaller columns of content. If you find that you want “Likes” from a site that isn’t represented, you can add it. Say I wanted to find out what pages were being liked by I Can Has Cheezburger. I put in the custom site box at the bottom, and wham, I have a nice widget full of LOLcat content. You can also clear custom sites if they’re bothering you, but I saw no way to delete one custom site at a time.

Actually that’s the only bad thing about this site; I didn’t see a way to customize the way the boxes were laid out. After writing about the Netvibes dashboard, this was kind of disappointing; I would love to be able to delete the boxes in which I’m not interested, add a bunch of custom ones, and then later delete the custom ones I don’t want.

If you’re interested in more general Facebook information, you can also check out Like Button’s Trends Page, which gives you a list of popular words in recent posts. (Examples when I looked: Farmville, Iron Man 2, Flash, iPad, Lady Gaga.) This list refreshes every fifteen minutes.

I don’t think I’d use Like Button as a home page, as it recommends, but I did find the way it divided liked content into several sites/categories to be useful and intriguing. If only I could customize it more…

Categories: News

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