Are Likes Poised to Replace Links as the Web's Primary Signal? via @steverubel

A thought provoking, well written post by Steve Rubel on the power of "likes".  The "like" button, along with retweets are the new signal for interest and impact.

Are Likes Poised to Replace Links as the Web's Primary Signal?

By Steve Rubel:  SVP, Director of Insights for Edelman Digital, a division of Edelman - the world's largest public relations firm.

For years the mighty hypertext link has served as the web's traffic signal network. Links guide where our clicks, attention and, therefore, money flows. It has given rise to multi-billion-dollar businesses and even entire industries. As the blockbuster AOL/HuffingtonPost deal shows, we truly do live in what Jeff Jarvis calls "The Link Economy." But maybe just maybe that economy could be peaking.


More recently it appears that an equally powerful network of signals has emerged just as certain kinds of links are being called into question in the mainstream press. Enter the like, which Facebook CTO Brett Taylor embraced in 2007 while with Friendfeed and Facebook copied in 2009. It has since flourished under Taylor's lead at Facebook as it mushroomed to 600 million users. These millions have not only emphatically embraced the like on the social network itself, but more importantly across the millions of sites that use Facebook's social plug-ins. Some 65 million Facebook users like things daily.  Read full post here>>>