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July 11, 2010

Even If You Love It, Facebook Won't Let You Like It

Facebook's streams, serving its approximately 500 million users, are a little quieter tonight, as for whatever reason, it seems people are unable to "like" any items, and trying to do so results in a database error. One is prompted to contact customer support, but no contact information is given. It's a little bug, but a prominent one on a site that is not only one of the biggest on the Web, but easily the most active social hub for families, friends and casual acquaintances.

The "Like" functionality made its way to Facebook after FriendFeed had added the feature back in 2007, and now this simple gesture has migrated to other services, and even to Facebook's comments itself - except tonight, there is no liking on Facebook, meaning you will have to leave an actual comment on friends' threads or photos to indicate you actually did... like... the content.

Issues With Liking on Facebook

With no failwhale to show for itself, it is unclear if this bug is simply a hiccup or an issue of scale. Facebook has managed much better uptime records than other services, including Twitter, but there is no doubt unprecedented technical challenges can arise from the smallest nuances when spread across a global network.

Clearly a Sign the World Is Going to End

If you must "Like" items, you can still go to FriendFeed, or give a "like" to Google Reader items and Google Buzz. Those databases are doing just fine.