We’re now at that stage of Facebook where users are some combination of bored and anxious. They're ready to start pushing and prodding at the network to see what they get back out, and they've started with the site’s most well-known feature: the Like button. Mat Honan at Wired spent 48 hours Liking everything he saw. Elan Morgan did the opposite, going two weeks without Liking a single thing. They came to different conclusions—Morgan reported that her feed improved and her desire to interact with people in real life increased, while Honan found himself inundated with click bait and political sludge.
The social meaning of the Like button has perhaps been op-eded to death, but what would happen if you simply took the feature away entirely?
Adam Powers, a designer and writer (and a friend of mine) recently released a Chrome extension he calls “Neutralike.” It strips your friends' Facebook posts of the Like button. No longer can you signal your approval with a single click. And that’s the point, Powers tells me. “The primary intent is that I can no longer just click 'Like' to show my approval for something. I have to comment, even if it's a one-word response or a 'me too.' And I like it like that.”