We are implementing a "like" feature on our web product, but we want to avoid being tied or compared to Facebook. While our functionalities differ vastly, we do utilize a "news feed" style of content delivery.

What are alternatives to "like"? We currently implement "high-five", but are revisiting the topic from a UX perspective.

  • Need more details on what liking does. Are you liking stuff from your own webpage to use within the website or liking somewhere to use somewhere else?
    – rk.
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 14:40
  • Imagine a B2B Activity Stream with a bunch of salespeople. They're either liking other salespeople's posts or customer posts.
    – Tom
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 14:41
  • 1
    How are these 'likes' used? If I like someone's post, how does that affect my experience and that of other users? What is the motivation behind performing that action?
    – Matt Obee
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 15:46
  • YouTube also uses "Like"
    – jobukkit
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 11:33
  • 1
    @com.BOY technically Youtube uses thumbs up/down.
    – Zelda
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 15:00

6 Answers 6


Up-vote/Down-vote are quite neutral (in terms of branding and word-association) and give you a good measure of support the post/person has.

  • We don't want to allow down-votes in the feed though.
    – Tom
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 16:27
  • @Tom You can use just up-votes too. 'Liking', 'hi-5', etc. are also just the positive halves of the pair ;)
    – rk.
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 16:56
  • 1
    Is up-vote:reddit, as like:facebook though?
    – Tom
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 17:08
  • I wouldn't consider it. There is no 'branding' behind the upvote/downvote in Reddit. Also, if you are considering using just upvotes, it should not be a direct comparison ;)
    – rk.
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 17:20

IMO, yes.

Facebook, for better or worse has pretty much locked that 'word/action' up and any visitor coming is going to correlate 'like' with facebook.

I would suggest "Thumbs Up" (old school) or an "approve". "Approve" is plain and simple and clearly understandable, yet somewhat steril in voice. If it is in relating to a service or product possibly "recommend" So, 24 others have 'recommended' this story/service or product.

Hope that helps you out.

  • 2
    Approve or endorse carry with them a significant legal connotation. Not something I'd recommend (pun intended). Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 16:23

You can try "+1", a neutral way used in google plus and very popular in "forums culture".

  • 1
    What about Google+? Is +1 too closely (or will it be) associated with that?
    – Anonymous
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 14:41

I've run into this line of thought myself. Off the top of my head, you could try a lot of things. Heart and favorite are a couple that I haven't seen others in here use, but are still used in popular sites (Tumblr and Twitter).

There are so many of these sites that have similar messages, I think what you need to decide is what will your users best identify with? If you put too much pressure on being unique, you may just alienate people. I've seen others go as far as making up words for what is clearly a 'like' functionality and it didn't pan out too well.

If you want to avoid being associated specifically with Facebook (or g+ or whomever), you might consider just using a heart, a star, or a thumbs-up icon.


Liking can be done differently. The Discourse forum allows people to like other people's posts. In your notifications they let you know of the fact with a heart icon next to the text message letting you know. In my experience, although you know that Facebook probably influenced it - it does not feel jarringly Facebook specific. It's a human feeling to want to approve something after all.

Example of it at use on a forum

View a live forum at: try.discourse.org

Liking things have been around for a while in other forms:

  • Dig it
  • Heart it
  • Luv it
  • Kudos/karma points

Simple up votes are fine also. They are not Reddit specific either. HackerNews uses karma up votes, but does not show the number awarded. This is so that people cannot tell if a specific post has more votes than another and then naturally feel more inclined to award their karma points to that higher scoring post.


Or you could go with something like dig it, or market the term towards a specific audience. Kudos is another popular term.

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