The word ‘LIKE’ has never been so overused until..

Facebook, obviously has become a big, big phenomenon. No doubt about that. But within Facebook, one more phenomenon has emerged greatly: that is the Facebook Fan Page. Since anyone and everyone can make a fan page, it can be for or about anything and everything under the sun.

In the beginning, the fan page was just really a “fan” page.

Not so long ago, when fan pages are not yet that overly popular and rampant, it lived up to its name of being a ‘fan’ page. People were just making fan pages for their favorite actors and actresses, singers, bands, and other famous TV personalities. The pages were just plainly named after the person whom the page was made for. Back then, too, the button to click was called “Become a Fan”. I’m going to make a hypothesis on why this famous button evolved into “Like” in the tail end of my blog.

Here are some of the top fan pages made for famous people:

Michael Jackson

http://www.facebook.com/michaeljackson Michael Jackson’s fan page has 13,443,973 fans with 82,551 growing fans every week. Top 2 among the top fan pages.

Lady Gaga

http://www.facebook.com/ladygaga Lady Gaga’s fan page has 9,173,245 fans with 97,901 growing fans every week. Top 6 among the top fan pages.

Taylor Swift

http://www.facebook.com/TaylorSwift Taylor Swift’s fan page has 5,546,742 fans with 68,497 growing fans every week. Top 20 among the top fan pages.

SOURCE: To see the Top Facebook Fan Page Statistics:

http://statistics.allfacebook.com/pages/leaderboard/

Online entrepreneurs went forth from Multiply and went for Facebook Fan Pages, too.

Since the bulk of online users have become more active in Facebook than any other social networking sites, most of the online entrepreneurs have expanded their business from Multiply to Facebook through the use of the fan pages. Here is one of my clients who expanded her business from Multiply http://mineralsensation.multiply.com to Facebook http://www.facebook.com/mineralsensation and proved to have given her business a boost.

It’s not only those from Multiply who set up a fan page for their business. Some established brands also had theirs, too to be able to reach a wider market. One such established brand is Bench Clothing http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bench-lifestyle-clothing/ .  Fast food chains have also joined the bandwagon just like the famous KFC with a whopping 1,530,905 fans http://www.facebook.com/kyfriedchicken.

Bench Clothing

KFC

Fan pages also paved the way for advertising to make its connection to its market more personal.

Humans really have a crazy way of turning something basic into something big with different links branching out of it. Now, fan pages are not just for glorifying  famous personalities or for shopping. It is now also used as a tool for advertising. One such promotional fan page is the Hapontukin campaign by Enervon http://www.facebook.com/Hapontukin which currently have 18,752 fans.

Hapontukin Campaign by Enervon

The fan page is being used to promote their Anti-Hapontukin Video Contest which as far as I know is not being promoted on their TV ad and proved to be effective because fans did submit their own Anti-Hapontukin videos.

Ultimately, a Facebook fan page is like Art, it is now used as a medium of expression.

Facebook fan pages have evolved so drastically that it is now used as a medium of expression. A fan page is normally used to express love and praise for someone we idolize but nowadays, fan pages are also used to express hate, gore and disgust for someone.

The recently concluded Pinoy Big Brother Teen Clash of 2010 received different feedback, praises and protests alike. The edition, being the teens’, majority of its audiences are teenagers who are in turn active users of Facebook and other social networking sites. Fans and haters quickly set up Facebook fan pages for those housemates they love and hate.

Photo from Tricia lovers fan page

Photo from Tricia haters fan page

This goes true for, perhaps the most controversial housemate, Tricia who was equally loved and hated by viewers. A lot of fan pages have been made for her but this one I guess is the most active http://www.facebook.com/pages/Davao-Philippines/TRICIA-SANTOS-FANS-CLUB-3 having 94,944 fans and many fan pages against her, too http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anti-Tricia-Santos/, http://www.facebook.com/pages/ANTI-PATRICIA-MAE-SANTOS, http://www.facebook.com/pages/TRICIA-HATERS to name a few.

But wait, there’s more!

A fan page as a medium of expression is not just used to express love and hate for a known personality. A more famous and more widely used way of using fan pages right now (which most probably you and I have done already, on a daily basis) is becoming a fan of random thoughts, random what-have-yous that because we can relate to, we become a fan. Here are some of those randomly thought-of pages but turns out to be something that a lot of people can relate to, ring a bell and make us remember funny moments.

Some of my recent personal favorites are:

Many randomly thought-of pages are hitting the charts, too as fastest growing fan pages.




SOURCE: http://statistics.allfacebook.com/pages/leaderboard/

(ranking edited based on current fan statistics)

And more.

As we can see, the Facebook fan page has been used in so many different ways and counting. There are a lot more reasons behind the setting up of fan pages than those I’ve stated above.  Fan pages are also used  for causes and community and public service. One such fan page which was famous for its public service through shoutouts made from their fan page during the typhoon Ondoy was Definitely Filipino http://www.facebook.com/i.am.filipino.

Definitely Filipino Guard the Vote campaign

Having 651,648 fans, Definitely Filipino was able to relay news to its users, announce cries for help and even gather volunteers. Definitely Filipino, definitely did not stop there, its public service continued up to the May 2010 elections and many more projects in between and until the present that bound Filipinos from all parts of the world.

The “Become a Fan” button, as I was saying

Together with the evolution of the use of the Facebook fan page from being a basic ‘fan’ page to a page that you become a fan ‘just because’, was the evolution of the “Become a Fan’ button to just ‘Like’. My personal hypothesis is that since the use of fan pages has indeed evolved and no longer used only for famous personalities, and because we have become a fan of hundreds and thousands of pages, the word ‘Like’ is preferred. Because it’s silly to become a fan of so many things, moreover just randomly though-of things like those random fan pages I have enumerated above. Not that there are standards when you can say that you are a fan. It’s just that it is more possible and believable to like so many things but to really be a fan, I think is a big word.

Now, let me google why Facebook indeed changed “Become a Fan” to “Like” and see if there really is an explanation for it and let’s see how close my hypothesis is to the real reason.

.  .  .  .  .  .

And here was the answer I got, directly from Facebook FAQ:

To improve your experience and promote consistency across the site, we’ve changed the language for Pages from “Fan” to “Like.” We believe this change offers you a more light-weight and standard way to connect with people, things and topics in which you are interested.
I think my hypothesis is close to Facebook’s answer. (Boo yeah!) Because this statement “more light-weight and standard way to connect with people, things and topics in which you are interested.” kind of equates to what I was saying earlier in my hypothesis “Because it’s silly to become a fan of so many things, moreover just randomly though-of things like those random fan pages I have enumerated above.” and when I said “to say that you are a fan is a big word”. So, now we know.
. . . . . .
From all these babbling, I just want to say this as my parting words. There is really no one way of using things (way to go, captain obvious! expression heard from NATGEO) and that sometimes the simplest things can be used to express yourself, make money, to offer help, to give service, and even to save lives. With the help of new social media, everything is within reach, we just have to know how to make good use of it.
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About Marj Casal

Maria Angelica Nepomuceno Casal is a student of the University of the Philippines Manila and this blog is created as part of the requirements of my OC152 class. And might as well be a long term hobby.
This entry was posted in For OC152 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The word ‘LIKE’ has never been so overused until..

  1. barrycade says:

    Facebook has certainly evolved, too. What’s important to note is it shouldn’t be taken as yet another advertising medium–or an extension of it–but a tool to directly connect with consumers and establish a relationship with them based on two-way communication. Admittedly, organizations/brands here in the Philippines have yet to fully embrace this and so (insert OrCom role here). 🙂

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