Facebook: I Used To Be A “Fan.” Right Now I Do Not “Like” You.

This week, Facebook lost a little more respect in my eyes.

Facebook is huge.  It’s a behemoth.  It’s also a necessity.  More people visit Facebook than any other site on the internet.  If you’re a business of any kind, you need to be on Facebook.  My problem with Facebook is that they seem to change the “rules” every few weeks.  The home page has had more face-lifts than an ageing actress.  Yes, @jamiefishback, I’m talking about you.  And now we have the change from “Fan” to “Like.”

Facebook, in its infinite wisdom, decided that it didn’t like the concept of being a “fan” of someone or something, be it person or brand.  They’re trying to extend the “like” button across the internet (as talked about in this Mashable article), and part of that process is getting rid of “Fan Pages” and turning them into (for lack of a better term) “Like Pages.”

Personally, I like the concept of someone being a fan of your page or product.  The “Like” button tells me that someone likes something specific I said or did, something that happened recently or a change in my status.  It’s more of a singular usage.  “Fan,” on the other hand, is plural.  If you’re a fan of something , you like the concept, the company, the person as a actor, the brand.  “Fan” ing a page on Facebook tells me that you like it as a whole, even if you don’t “like” some parts of it, you like enough of it to be a “Fan.”  I like Coca-Cola, but I don’t necessarily want to “like” the company as a whole, that’s why I’m not a part of their Fan page.

Removing “Fan” from its vocabulary, to me, is forcing me to be choosier with the companies and products I associate myself with.  I realize I’m being a little anal about the wording, but it changes my thinking.  I have never been a huge “fan” of Facebook; I think it’s becoming a little bloated in some areas and is lacking in others (features for small businesses).  I’d like to see them make changes that help its users rather than confuse them.  I’d like to see them make it easier for a small business to market itself on the site, particularly for people who are taking their business to the web for the first time.

But I’m not holding my breath.