Facebook Tweaks The Like Button: Like Things In Apps, Link To Pages, And Show Box Counts

Ever since Facebook rolled out their Like button in April, it has been spreading over the web like wild fire. Since then, they’ve been tweaking it a bit here and there to improve the layout and functionality. Today brings more improvements.

As they note on their Developer Blog, the new Like button gains three things: the ability to like items within apps, the ability to link the Like button to Pages, and a new option to have a “box count” layout for the button that shows the number of likes above it.

The most interesting change is the first one mentioned. Previously, you could only like applications themselves, but now you can dig into applications and like elements within them. For example, you can now like virtual goods in an app like Farmville if Zynga implements this (which they undoubtedly will). You can also now like things like individual movies within entertainment apps, or causes.

The next change is a little confusing. Facebook now has a URL field in the Like button creation tool that you can use to link the Like button to that page. What this seems to do is allow you to create a Like button for something elsewhere besides the actual page you’re liking. So, for example, I could make a Like button for TechCrunch and include it on another blog.

Finally, Facebook has added a new view option for the Like button. The “box count” layout shows you the number of likes something has received above the button itself. This is a pretty standard view for sharing buttons on the web.

Update: Facebook clarified what they meant about the Like button linking a bit:

The URL field in the tool is not new and is for pointing to individual blog post URLs (TechCrunch actually does this with the Like button). The update is that you can now point a Like button to a Facebook Page, similar to how the Like box functions.