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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Facebook reportedly preparing to add ‘Read’ ‘Watched’ ‘Listened’ buttons


As if it’s not enough that Facebook has documented every time over the past four years that you’ve drunkenly commented on someone’s photos or ill-advisedly ‘got something off your chest’ in the form of a status update – now it is also going to make a record of your sins of omission.

Yes, according to a Techcrunch report, Facebook is planning to launch buttons to indicated that you’ve read or watched something online – and, by definition, what you’ve not bothered to read.

I suspect many people share and like content that they’ve not read/watched/listened to quite as fully as they might (clue – someone liking an eight-page New Yorker article you’ve shared two minutes after you’ve shared it).

Now the pressure is going to be on even more than ever to listen to those Soundcloud files your friend’s experimental folk/oompah fusion band has posted. At the moment, you can, with some honesty, ‘like’ the fact that they’ve recorded and posted something without bothering to listen to it. Now you’re not going to be able to get away with that kind of obfuscation.

If the buttons really are being launched, publishers are going to love it – especially those that pay writers based on the number of views. Journalists might not be as keen (imagine if there’s a huge disparity between the number of people who’ve read your article and the number who’ve liked it).

Techcrunch also reports that Facebook is going to introduce a ‘want’ button. Which will save a lot of women a lot of time posting links from Net-A-Porter to ridiculously expensive, ridiculously high-heeled shoes and typing the word: WANT before it. Isn’t progress great?

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