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This chapter is from the book

Google and Wikipedia "Like" the Like Button

How successful has the Like button been? So successful that two of the best-known names in the modern web space—Google and Wikipedia—are copying it.

Google has scrambled to catch up with Facebook, and in late March 2011 it debuted the +1 button, which it defines as a public stamp of approval. You can see "plus ones" in Google search results, ads, and your Google profile. Google Plus uses your Google contacts (from your Gmail, Google Buzz, and Google Reader) to tell you who has "plus-oned" things.11 Unfortunately, it's ugly and mathematical and previous Google social media efforts have fallen flat. It's unclear at this point whether it will eventually give Facebook a run for its money.

Wikipedia's Love button, which became available in late June 2011, is a bit more cuddly. Wikipedia wants to encourage more new editors to join and has recognized that, for them, negativity and criticism is a bit too common. They found that editors were demotivated by widespread disdain from more experienced editors.12 The Love button allows editors to send kittens, stars, or beers to other editors. Editors can also create their own type of appreciation to give people chocolate, leprechauns, or bacon.

What does this mean for Facebook? When two of the other biggest names on the Internet are copying you, you know you have a winner.

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