Example of a like button

A like button, like option, or recommend button is a feature in communication software such as social networking services, Internet forums, news websites and blogs where the user can express that they like, enjoy or support certain content.[1] Internet services that feature like buttons usually display the number of users who liked each content, and may show a full or partial list of them. This is a quantitative alternative to other methods of expressing reaction to content, like writing a reply text. Some websites also include a dislike button, so the user can either vote in favor, against or neutrally. Other websites include more complex web content voting systems. For example, five stars or reaction buttons to show a wider range of emotion to the content.



Video sharing site Vimeo added a "like" button in November 2005.[2] Developer Andrew Pile describes it as an iteration of the "digg" button from the site Digg.com, saying "We liked the Digg concept, but we didn't want to call it 'Diggs,' so we came up with 'Likes'".[2]


The like button on FriendFeed was announced as a feature on October 30, 2007, and was popularized within that community.[3] Later the feature was integrated into Facebook before FriendFeed was acquired by Facebook on August 10, 2009.[4]


Main article: Facebook like button

The "Like" icon used by Facebook.

The Facebook like button is designed as a hand giving "thumbs up". It was originally discussed to have been a star or a plus sign, and during development the feature was referred to as "awesome" instead of "like".[citation needed] It was introduced on 9 February 2009.[5] In February 2016, Facebook introduced reactions - a new way to express people's emotions to Facebook posts. Some reactions included "Love", "Haha", "Wow", "Sad", or "Angry".

The like button is a significant power sharing tool, as one "like" will make the post show up on friends' feed, boosting the algorithm to ensure the post is seen and interacted with in order to continue the cycle of engagement.[6] On the other hand, a study highlights the disadvantage of the "like" reaction in algorithmic content ranking on Facebook. The "like" button can increase the engagement, but can decrease the organic reach as a "brake effect of viral reach".[7]


In early 2010, as part of a broader redesign of the service, YouTube switched from a star-based rating system to Like/Dislike buttons. Under the previous system, users could rate videos on a scale from 1 to 5 stars; YouTube staff argued that this change reflected common usage of the system, as 2-, 3-, and 4-star ratings were not used as often.[8][9] In 2012, YouTube briefly experimented with replacing the Like and Dislike buttons with a Google+ +1 button.[10]

In 2019, after the backlash from YouTube Rewind 2018, YouTube began considering options to combat "dislike mobs," including an option to completely remove the dislike button.[11] The video is the most disliked video on YouTube, passing the music video for Justin Bieber's "Baby". On November 12, 2021, YouTube announced it will make dislike counts private, with only the content creator being able to view the number of dislikes on the back end, in what the company says is an effort to combat targeted dislike and harassment campaigns and encourage smaller content creators.[12]

In addition to videos, each of their user comments also have its own set of Like and Dislike buttons since August 2007.[13] The feature was originally implemented in a similar fashion to Reddit's system of Upvotes and Downvotes until a greater redesign of the comment system in September 2013 (initially oriented on Google+), since which – while comments continue to show their Likes count – Dislikes won't be made public and thus have no visible effect on a comment's rating.[14][15]


+1, the "Like" button of Google+ (old version)

Google+ had a like button called the +1 (Internet jargon for "I like that" or "I agree"), which was introduced in June 2011.[16] In August 2011, the +1 button also became a share icon.[17]


On Reddit (a system of message boards), users can upvote and downvote posts (and comments on posts). The votes contribute to posters' and commenters' "karma" (Reddit's name for a user's overall rating).[18]


2007 X (then called Twitter) post with a star icon to the right as its "favorite" button.

Alongside reposts, X users can like posts made on the service, indicated by a heart. Until November 2015, the equivalent of "liking a post" was "favoriting a post" and favorites were symbolized by a gold star (). However, that was changed to alleviate user confusion and put the function more in line with other social networks, the favorite function was renamed to like.[19]


VK like buttons for posts, comments, media and external sites operate in a different way from Facebook. Liked content doesn't get automatically pushed to the user's wall, but is saved in the (private) Favorites section instead.


The Instagram like button is indicated by a heart symbol. In addition to tapping the heart symbol on a post, users can double tap an image to "like" it. In May 2019, Instagram began tests wherein the number of likes on a user's post is hidden from other users.[20]


The TikTok like button is indicated by a heart symbol, and users can use the like button by double tapping on a post they like, similar to YT Shorts and Instagram. Liked content can be accessed via the "Liked" tab on a user's profile.

Additionally in 2022, TikTok implemented a Dislike button for their user comments with the intent of giving their users power to identify comments that are considered "irrelevant or inappropriate". Just like on YouTube ever since the late 2013 overhaul of their comment system (excluding video dislikes until 2021), these dislikes won't be visible to others.[21][22]


XWiki, the application wiki and open source collaborative platform, added the "Like" button in version 12.7. This button allows users to like wiki pages. It is possible to see all liked pages and the Like counter for each page.


The business and employment social media LinkedIn includes a "like" button. In 2019 the platform added reaction options such as "celebrate", "love", "insightful" and "support".[23][24]

Legal issues

In 2012, following the death of Indian political leader Bal Thackeray, two women were arrested related to a Facebook post about the death. One of the women posted the status update, and her friend had liked it.[25] The arrest under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act caused a national outrage against freedom of speech and misuse of the Information Technology laws.[26] After an enquiry that concluded that the arrests were avoidable and not justified, and recommended action against the arresting policemen,[27] the allegations were dropped, the police officers suspended, and the magistrate involved in the case was transferred.[28]

In 2017, a man was fined 4,000 Swiss francs by a Swiss regional court for liking defamatory messages on Facebook written by other people which criticized an activist. According to the court, the defendant "clearly endorsed the unseemly content and made it his own".[29]

See also


  1. ^ Dedić, N. and Stanier, C. (2017) "Towards Differentiating Business Intelligence, Big Data, Data Analytics and Knowledge Discovery". Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing (LNBIP). Springer International Publishing. Volume 285.
  2. ^ a b "How Vimeo became hipster YouTube". Fortune. 23 February 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  3. ^ Taylor, Bret (30 October 2007). "I like it, I like it". FriendFeed Blog. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  4. ^ Kincaid, Jason (10 August 2009). "Facebook Acquires FriendFeed (Updated)". TechCrunch. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  5. ^ Kincaid, Jason (9 February 2009). "Facebook Activates "Like" Button; FriendFeed Tires Of Sincere Flattery". TechCrunch. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  6. ^ Ozanne, Marie; Cueva Navas, Ana; Mattila, Anna S.; Van Hoof, Hubert B. (1 April 2017). "An Investigation Into Facebook "Liking" Behavior An Exploratory Study". Social Media + Society. 3 (2): 2056305117706785. doi:10.1177/2056305117706785. ISSN 2056-3051.
  7. ^ Pócs, Dávid; Adamovits, Otília; Watti, Jezdancher; Kovács, Róbert; Kelemen, Oguz (21 June 2021). "Facebook Users' Interactions, Organic Reach, and Engagement in a Smoking Cessation Intervention: Content Analysis". Journal of Medical Internet Research. 23 (6): e27853. doi:10.2196/27853. ISSN 1438-8871. PMC 8277334. PMID 34152280.
  8. ^ Lowensohn, Josh (31 March 2010). "YouTube's big redesign goes live to everyone". CNET. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  9. ^ Siegler, M.G. (22 September 2009). "YouTube Comes To A 5-Star Realization: Its Ratings Are Useless". TechCrunch. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Google+ replacing ability to dislike a YouTube video?". Geek.com. Archived from the original on 18 November 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  11. ^ Best, Shivali (5 February 2019). "YouTube might remove its dislike button to combat 'dislike mobs'". mirror. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  12. ^ Perez, Sarah (12 November 2021). "YouTube is removing the dislike count on all videos across its platform". TechCrunch. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Site Update 8/22". YouTube Blog. 24 August 2007. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  14. ^ Janakiram, Nundu; Zunger, Yonatan (24 September 2013). "We hear you: Better commenting coming to YouTube". YouTube Blog. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  15. ^ "The Curious Case of the YouTube Comment Dislike Button". YouTube. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  16. ^ Siegler, M.G. (31 May 2011). "Whoops Redux: Looks Like Partner Just Leaked Google's +1 Button For Websites Launch". TechCrunch. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  17. ^ Newman, Jared (24 August 2011). "Google +1 Now Links to Google+ Profiles: Let the War on Facebook's 'Like' Button Begin". PC World. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  18. ^ "Yes, Reddit's r/The_Donald was infiltrated by anti-Clinton Russian trolls". Newsweek. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Twitter officially kills off favorites and replaces them with likes". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  20. ^ Padilla, Mariel (18 July 2019). "Instagram is Hiding Likes. Will That Reduce Anxiety?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 26 November 2020. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  21. ^ Cabello, Marcos (23 September 2022). "Don't Like a Comment on TikTok? You Can Hit the 'Dislike' Button". CNET. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  22. ^ Malik, Aisha (23 September 2022). "TikTok is releasing its comment dislike button to all users worldwide". TechCrunch. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  23. ^ Leonard, Jay (25 April 2019). "LinkedIn Rolling Out Reaction Buttons". Business 2 Community. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  24. ^ Hutchinson, Andrew (17 June 2022). "LinkedIn Launches Initial Rollout of its New 'Funny' Reaction". SocialMediaToday. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  25. ^ Kaphle, Anup (19 November 2012). "Who was Bal Thackeray and why did Mumbai come to a standstill this weekend?". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 23 February 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  26. ^ Kukil Bora (20 November 2012). "Arrest For Facebook 'Like' In India Creates Controversy; Is It An Onslaught On Internet Speech?". ibtimes.com. Retrieved 8 May 2024.
  27. ^ Samira Shaikh (24 November 2012). "Facebook arrest: The girls were arrested for their own 'protection', report quotes policemen saying". ndtv.com. Retrieved 8 May 2024.
  28. ^ "Charges dropped against Palghar girls arrested for Facebook post on Bal Thackeray". indiatoday.in. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2024.
  29. ^ Man fined by Swiss court for 'liking' defamatory comments on Facebook - The Guardian / AFP, 20 May 2017