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I got into an argument with two people who insisted that users do not have to log in to like a blog post. Is this okay? I'm sorry if it seems a silly question, but I was really concerned with the accuracy of the number of likes if we had to implement it this way. I tried explaining to them that a computer can have multiple users and a user can have multiple devices, but they still insisted, suggesting that we could use cookies or even identify a user using the computer's IP address to determine whether a certain post has already been liked or not. If this is okay, I would love to have someone explain to me why (aside from it removing the hassle of creating an account for the users/visitors of the site). Thank you.

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  • As your question is about the accuracy of likes, this would be better aimed at StackOverflow as it's a technical question. From a UX perspective, not requiring the user to log in will always be better than requiring them to log in because it requires less effort on their part.
    – user101673
    Jul 14, 2017 at 15:02
  • I see. Thank you. But when a user who has already liked a post, then comes back to the same post on a different device, wouldn't they think it is a bug since they've already liked that post previously? Jul 14, 2017 at 15:10

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The ability to 'Like' a post without logging in is very attractive in terms of surface level UX - The user doesn't have to bother with usernames and password, they just express an immediate emotion.

In order to retain a meaningful 'Like' system, the 'Likes' would need to be restricted to one per user per post. Without a login, the technical overheads become so expensive that it's not worth doing. You would need to write cookies, check cookies, and check IPs, and that still doesn't prevent someone using proxies or different machines to hit that 'Like'.

To retain an 'Like' system without a login and no technical overhead would render the 'Likes' meaningless as anyone could simply keep hitting like as many times as they wanted.

In both cases it may even be possible to write bots capable of 'Liking' posts on an industrial scale.

The only way to retain a meaningful 'Like' system is to make each 'Like' accountable - attributable to a measurable number of user accounts.

Of course this doesn't prevent cheating but it does make the effort/reward ratio much less attractive.

One route you could take is a persistent login state whereby the user only has to enter their details again if they have specifically logged out or not visited the blog for an extended period - this would allow users to express their emotion with the least amount of friction but would also maintain the meaningfulness of the 'Likes' they apply

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    Thanks! I'll see if I could get them to understand about the technical overehead and the meaningfulness of the likes if it would be implemented the way they wanted it to. Jul 14, 2017 at 15:21
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    Actually, the website we're building is a CRM and there are more steps than the usual for a user to sign up, and the blog is just a feature for the marketing guys to use. This is probably why they insisted, but I did suggest that we could use Facebook's API so we don't have to force the user to go through our sign up process and still allow them to like our posts. But they turned it down. I'll see if I could get them to shift with your points which I actually agree with. Thanks. Jul 14, 2017 at 15:29
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The reason large social media platforms have you create an account is because they want to keep track of what you like so they can present you with more accurate advertising.

A more practical approach is that it is easier to for users to keep track of what they like when users have an account. As you said, a computer can have multiple users. What if all were 'logged in as a guest' and started liking different blogs and pages? You wouldn't know how to separate your likes from the others.

I do not know about your blog or product and what your goals are. I can imagine that as an owner of a personal blog you might not need user information. Likes and comments are all that matters. Think of this for your blog and make a decision based on this. Good luck!

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  • I see. Thanks a lot for your answer. I'm actually a technical guy so I would be more concerned of the accuracy and implementation, not with the marketing strategy or something, so I really had a hard time understanding why. Thanks a lot. Jul 14, 2017 at 15:16
  • I'll think it through and write down the pros and cons I could think of. Jul 14, 2017 at 15:22

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