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Facebook commands: Read, Listened, Watched and Want?


Kids, keep writing your letters to Santa, because you won't be getting that Dislike button from Facebook anytime soon. You can, however, look forward to a handful of new buttons rolling out at Facebook's f8 developers' conference this week, according to TechCrunch sources.

Read, Listened and Watched are the new buttons that add what the biz calls "granularity" to the all-purpose Like button we all know so well. This will be followed by the e-commerce connected Want button, reports TechCrunch, adding "It’s important to qualify that this is from a source (and not from Facebook)."

TechCrunch has a reliable record of sniffing these things out, and such an evolution certainly makes sense. As Internet users, we are increasingly finding new things through our social network connections, and not just relying on search engines as we did back in the day. So, imagine if your Facebook friend posts a link to a news story, instead of just conveying you Like the link, you can confirm you actually took it in with a Read button.

(Of course, whether you actually did read it is between you and your chosen deity. It's our experience that people are perfectly comfortable commenting on a headline and the imagined content rather than clicking the link. But hey, that's no judgment. You're busy. We get it.)

Listened, meanwhile, is most likely geared toward Facebook's big foray into streaming music, also expected to roll out at f8. Facebook is already partnered with Internet music outfits such as Spotify, MOG and Rdio for its upcoming Music Dashboard, which reportedly includes notifications of what your friends are listening to, and their recommendations as well. Music for Credits — another expected feature — will let you purchase songs through the social network.

Watched, we imagine, is a TV thing, perhaps in the vein of GetGlue, the social network that works like Foursquare for couch potatoes.

Want, which will reportedly roll out after the Read, Listened and Watch buttons, is likely connected to e-commerce. If purchasing music through Facebook is not far in the offing, then it's reasonable that the ability to buy other stuff through the social network will follow. Whether or not our old Facebook pal, the Like button, will stick around, remains to be seen. 

While these additions, on top of the recent Subscribe button rollout, may make your head spin, once you get used to them, they could help you better engage with your Facebook friends by making it easier to find the content with which you want to engage. Certainly, if Facebook users take to these new buttons, it could also be a treasure trove of behavior-tracking info for advertisers. Instead of knowing you simply "like" something, they'll now know what you did with that thing you liked. Again, all the better to sell you stuff, my dear!

We know how you love it when Facebook changes, so stay tuned for our f8 coverage on all the Facebook surprises rolling out on Thursday. 

— via TechCrunch

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Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or FacebookAlso, Google+.