Friday, September 2, 2011

Facebook Rolled Out A Like Button Chrome Extension

Yesterday, we noted that Google quietly rolled out their +1 Button Chrome extension a couple days ago. It’s more powerful than it may seem because you can now easily +1 any page you’re browsing on the web regardless of if the owner of that content placed a button on their site. Just imagine if Facebook has such a extension for their Like Button.. Actually, you don’t have to imagine.

Shortly after our post went up, we were pointed to this extension in the Chrome Web Store. Sure enough, it’s a Facebook Like Button extension, that according to Google’s “verified author” service is indeed built by Facebook itself. What’s surprising is hardly anyone knows about this extension, it has just 500 users!

Perhaps Facebook isn’t touting it at all yet because it is kind of weak. When you click the thumbs up icon, you get a drop-down menu asking you to click an actual Like Button in an overlay. So it’s two-clicks to “like” something. But it does also come with the nice ability to leave a comment as you share something (which the +1 Button extension doesn’t do yet). And it adds Facebook share options to your right-click menu items. From here, you can like a page, share a page, or recommend a page.

It’s certainly possible that this was just a quick hackathon project that one developer threw together at Facebook. It may also be related to their tie-in with Rockmelt, the social browser that is built on top of Chromium (a screenshot on the extension page references it). Quite frankly, it’s surprising this extension exists at all, given the heated relationship between the two companies. It looks like it has been live since July.

After yesterday’s story about the +1 Button extension, a number of readers seemed concerned about Google’s ability to track all of your web movements. Obviously, they’ll have the same concerns about Facebook with this button. Here’s what Facebook has to say on the matter:
You do not need to be logged in to Facebook to install this plugin, but to like, share or recommend a page you will need to log in to a current Facebook account, or create a new one. While the plugin is installed, it will display the total number of likes for the page you are viewing. To provide a personalized experience, Facebook will see some technical information such as the URL of the page you are on, your IP address and the date and time you visited the site. All information collected before you log into Facebook is anonymous or aggregated and will not identify you.
All of the information after you log in…
I’d also like to give a shout out to Hrishikesh Kale who created his own Facebook Like extension after our story yesterday, also not realizing that Facebook already made one.

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