A Functional Approach to the Facebook Like Button: An Exploration of Meaning, Interpersonal Functionality, and Potential Alternative Response Buttons

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This study employed a functional approach to conceptualize the Facebook Like button as a social cue that allows users to convey various meanings while enacting multiple interpersonal functions. Participants reported on their general reasons for using the Facebook Like button, as well as their most recent actual uses. Results discussed the following: the general predictors of Liking frequency, the specific meanings that participants sought to express by clicking Like (i.e. relational-based and content-based), the larger interpersonal functions that participants hoped to accomplish (i.e. relational facilitation, self-presentation, and metacommunication), the associations between intended meaning and interpersonal functionality, and finally, the additional response buttons that participants wish Facebook offered (e.g. Dislike, Sympathy, Congratulations, Agree, Disagree, Interesting, Funny, Love, and Got It).

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SAGE Publications

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New Media & Society

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