Last week, the new LIKE button was announced at the Facebook Developers Conference (F8). Today you can like your friends, your friends photos, etc. Soon, facebook users will be able to like anything on the web. That includes shopping sites, articles, blogs…well anything!
Most are saying that this will “bring the consumer to the center of the web” and marketing depts will finally have to listen to the people!
Well, the web has never really been the democratic utopia some imagined. And, marketing depts exist to listen to and manipulate consumers towards a particular brand or item.
Why should companies care about the new like button? Image is everything. For now, we’re still in the trend cycle we describe as of I.D. (individual delineation). Everyone wants to be the apart of the right tribe, and in with the right crowd as a form of individuality–in a conformist kind of way.
Being able to easily see what others are in to is the fastest and easiest way to join the gang.
The pressure brands will be under to become or remain the most popular. But, that doesn’t translate to being the best. Brands and designers that stay focused on their own message and don’t react to the peer pressure of being liked will be in a stronger position as we move into the new cycle.
The trend is just beginning to move away from consumerism, forced immediately by the sharp economic downturn. But, as DIY evolves into true craftsmanship, as GREEN evolves into true sustainability, people will look for the best, not just the most popular.