Facebook redesign drops 'Become a fan' button
LONDON - Facebook is to scrap its "Become a fan" button for a new "Like" button that is expected to see the social networking site log and share users' online activity.
Facebook: alters fan pages
Expected to be announced on Wednesday (21 April) at Facebook's annual F8 conference in San Francisco, the "Like" button will be similar to Facebook's "Share" button that currently allows users to embed links from other sites on to their profile page.
The function replaces Facebook's "Become a Fan" pages and allows online publishers to add the Like button to their sites. Users will still be able to connect with Pages, including those of brands, musicians, celebrities, TV shows and non-profits, by clicking the Like button.
However, a record of what a user has linked to will be kept by Facebook and shared with online publishers, according to reports, which could cause a backlash from privacy campaigners.
Facebook is also expected to ramp up its Facebook Connect service, which allows users to log in to various sites with their Facebook details.
Online publishers will be encouraged to put a new toolbar on the bottom of their sites, which will be easier to use than Facebook Connect, to encourage more users to logon.
A Facebook spokesperson said: "We've found that 'Like' is more global, easy to understand, and users are already comfortable and familiar with it, making the process of connecting with a Page more consistent with how they already interact with things on Facebook.
"The core functionality of Pages will remain unchanged. Pages will still have distribution into News Feed, and the administrators of those Pages will still be able to call the people connected to their Page, 'fans'."
Last week Facebook offered free advertising to children's charities to defuse the ongoing situation over the installation of an online safety button. Charities, including the NSPCC and Beatbullying, will meet on Thursday to discuss the proposal.
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