The problem with the like rating system on Facebook is that something that you like a little bit will be perceived as something that you liked a lot. A like is a like after all and this either or, on or off, hot or cold binary rating system for Facebook may not be entirely accurate when it comes to measuring user sentiment. Facebook is no dummy. Mark Zuckerberg wants a tight operation and they know the limitations of the like system because it is a black and white system. Unfortunately, life is a series of grace. Between zero and ten with ten being the highest, there is a lot of radiation. If you see content and your friend liked it, you’re under the impression that your friend is endorsing the product one hundred percent where in reality, your friend is maybe just intrigued, interested or amused but not exactly overwhelmed and ecstatic about the product or a link.
In what would be a very interesting development, rumor is that Facebook is working on a star rating system. I believe that this would be a really good move forward because Facebook is fast evolving into a content assessment platform. What this means is that in addition to its sharing content, content is also being tested and veted on Facebook. People don’t have all the time in the world so if they want to check out the content that was shared by their friend, they’d like to probably check out content that is one hundred percent sure to get their recommendation. You don’t get this information if you have the black or white, yes or no system. You do get it when you have a five star or a three star rating system. This way, you can save a lot of time by skipping lukewarm recommendations and this way you can just focus on the stuff that gets a hundred percent rating.
In terms of building a community on Facebook, going through a multiple star rating system is a good move because people size each other up based on their credibility. If you keep sending me spam, I’m going to get mad at you and I won’t probably click on your shares, if not, outright unfriend you. By using this rating system, people protect themselves from being perceived as chronic bad link passers or bad recommenders. This way, you could say to people “Well, this gets somewhat my approval because I thought this was interesting but it’s not my one hundred percent recommendation.” That way you cover your ass a little bit and people would not think less of you because you covered your ass with that lukewarm recommendation.
Ideally, people should have some sort of a rating system. This way Facebook could eat Yelps for lunch. Yelp blew up in the stock market recently and it’s making a lot of money. Yelp is a one trick pony. Maybe if Facebook moves into the recommend but only recommend if you have a review type of system, Facebook can totally dominate Yelp and make even more money — just a thought.