The Facebook Like button has been around for a little over two years, and since its introduction we’ve seen it used to indicate interest on everything from news articles to pictures of a friend’s newborn. Until now, Facebook ads have been personalized and generated for users based on their Liking history, among other things. As it turns out, this formula could be shaken up quite a bit with the inclusion of a new button posted on shopping and retail pages.
Right now, the criteria for targeting someone with ads on Facebook are a bit wide and unrefined. Rumors abound that Facebook has a Want button in the works, and its inclusion could change how personalized ads are generated and targeted very quickly.
Before I dig in, I should make it clear that I’m discussing a feature that isn’t even certain to be released and I make a lot of observations and comments based purely on conjecture regarding how the Want system would work.
Introducing the Want Button
How is the Want button different than the Like button, you ask? For one, a clearer message is conveyed through a Want. A Like means a lot of things right now; it could be used to show support for a movement, approve a message, indicate interest in an article, give a virtual laugh to a joke, or, finally, present desire to purchase a product.
Wanting something shows that you desire or have a use for a product or service. Clicking the Want button would effectively create a Wish List for yourself, but it would be applied to a marketplace that isn’t restricted to one website.