‘Like' rather than ‘become a fan': Facebook

New York: Facebook is about to change the way users connect to brands on the web page.

Instead of asking people to “become a fan” of companies such as Starbucks, the social networking site will let them click on a button that indicates they “like” the brand.

Facebook already lets people show that they like comments or pictures posted on the site, and it says users click that term almost twice as much as they click “become a fan.”

The site says changing the button will make them more comfortable with linking up with a brand.

A memo from Facebook to advertisers about the change has been widely circulated online.

Businesses use Facebook pages, which are free to create, connect with their customers and promote their brands.

Facebook makes money from the advertisements these companies often use to draw users to their pages.

The average user becomes a fan of four pages each month, according to Facebook.

“The idea of liking a brand is a much more natural action than [becoming a fan] of a brand,” said Michael Lazerow, CEO of Buddy Media, which helps companies establish their brands.Facebook did not say whether the change would apply to all pages such as those for celebrities or musicians — where the term “fan” is still appropriate — or just brands.

The world's largest online social network is known for constantly tweaking the way users experience the site. This often draws loud complaints, but Facebook continues to draw millions of new fans. More than half of its 400 million users log in every day. — AP