For those of you that still remember Friendfeed, let alone still use it, you will remember that one of the most often asked for features was the ability to Like someone’s comments. The feeling was that while you might not like the original posted item some of the comments were priceless and deserved a high five.
Well from what I remember that feature never did show up on Friendfeed but starting today it has shown up on Facebook. Now this may not seem like a big deal but like Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb I think it could turn out to be one of the best features from a users point of view that Facebook could have added.
Imagine the addition of “people whose comments you liked” as a metric by which to measure future content for prioritization or other analysis. There’s no indication that this stream of liked comments will be available to developers today (no update has been posted yet to the developers blog) but it seems safe to assume that liking peoples’ comments in a thread will at least influence the determination of who is displayed in a user’s all-important News Feed of high-priority contacts.
Any time a social interaction can be instrumented – turned into data and made measurable – that opens up new opportunities for cross referencing it with other data points, for illuminating more connections between people. Imagine being able to see who from your High School gets the most comments liked, or to see a stream of books liked by people whose comments you liked more than once. There are many possibilities.
It will be interesting to see how Facebook manages to include this feature in yet another way to find people you might want to connect to as well as a whole new metric for advertisers.