Facebook has redesigned its “Like” button for the first time, with this iteration focusing on typography and colors, and reducing the focus on the thumbs-up sign.

Screen Shot 2013 11 08 at 1.24.46 AM Facebook redesigns Like and Share buttons: Less focus on thumbs up

With Facebook having gained traction across more than a billion users around the world, Facebook Likes and Shares have become the online equivalent of either bookmarks and word-of-mouth recommendations. Given this, third-party websites are now prominently displaying their sharing buttons. This comes with the hopes that readers or users will click, which will, in turn, reflect the recommendation on their own timelines and Facebook profiles. Facebook says 7.5 million websites use its Like and Share buttons, which are seen 22 billion times daily.

There has been one prominent feature of Facebook’s Like icon since its inception: the thumbs-up, which has become synonymous with the social network. In fact, Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, CA, has the thumbs-up sign displayed on its address marker.

Screen Shot 2013 11 08 at 4.14.10 AM Facebook redesigns Like and Share buttons: Less focus on thumbs up

Facebook is reducing the prominence of the thumbs-up, however. The Like and Share buttons have undergone a revamp, which actually took several months to design. Markedly absent on the main Share and Like buttons is the familiar symbol, which is now replaced Facebook’s own “F” logo, and the use of more elegant typography and color schemes.

The new Like button comes with a vibrant blue color scheme, consistent with Facebook’s own blue, and it uses Helvetica typeface, which should be simpler and easier on the eyes. The new design is reportedly easier to see than the washed-out blue-grey of old, and is seen to encourage more interactions.

According to Facebook, the company will start automatically rolling out the changes to publishers, which means minimal pain for those using the buttons on their websites. Additionally, Facebook is making it easier to install the Like plus Share buttons side-by-side, which should be helpful in giving users a choice whether to Like (instantly bookmark) or to Share (add their own commentary to the post).

Facebook product manager Ling Bao says the company’s Like and Share buttons are “one of Facebook’s most valuable brand assets,” and this necessitated consultation and approval from users and Facebook engineers and executives alike, including Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself. It’s not just an icon redesign, Bao says, because “getting a design that works across all these websites at different scales and in different browsers is quite a herculean task.”

Source: Facebook Developers Blog