I have a web application in which there are contents like videos and other types. Let's focus on videos for this case. The videos have the "like" option. The phrasing is like:

(Bold means there's a link)

  • "You like this video"

  • "12 people like this video"

  • "You and 12 others like this video"

The only phrase still causing doubt is the case in which no one has liked the video yet. There are some options I can think of:

  • "Be the first to like this", in which case it may look like the user is being pushed into liking;

  • "No one has liked this yet", in which case it may sound negative because of the presence of "no one";

  • "Like this video", in which case it may sound imperative in comparison to the other phrases used;

It's good to keep in mind we chose to use phrasing and not only numbering (a like button + a number) because of the personality of the users, which is composed by lots of different people (from tech savvy teenagers to elder users, unfamiliar with PC and/or internet).

Thanks in advance.


A photo showing a post on the street asking people to be the first to like it

I have seen "Be the first to like this" before; never felt I'm being pushed, on the contrary - being first should motivate most people.

I agree with the negative tone of "No one has liked this yet".

"Like this video" could be simply shorten to "Like", but I still feel that the "Be the first" should drive more people to like the video...

Here's an example from Amazon:

A screenshot of Amazon showing "Be the first to review"

Here's another one Magento take pride in:

A screenshot of Magento with be the first link

As Majed mentioned, here's the Facebook version:

A Screenshot showing be the first on Facebook

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  • 2
    You also should notice facebook's ads where it says "Be the first amongst your friends to like this." It doesn't necessarily make the user feel like they are being pushed, it makes them feel "special" to a certain extent because they are the first to do anything. That makes a person feel really good. – Majo0od Sep 30 '13 at 20:42
  • Basically take a look at what others are doing, because usually (not always) what's frequently being done, is the best way to go about doing something. Good examples by the way @Izhaki – Majo0od Sep 30 '13 at 20:46
  • I have this feeling too @Izhaki, and am inclined to go through that way. A co-worker of mine has raised the question that this kind of approach may cause "the first like" to be "different" from other likes, because of the phrasing. I myself think that's not an issue, but I'd like to hear more opinions about that. – Gabriel Melo Sep 30 '13 at 21:26
  • "I have [...] never felt I'm being pushed, on the contrary - being first should motivate most people." I see your anecdote and raise you another: I always feel annoyed by these "Be the first to" -messages, because I do feel pushed by the language. Instead of neutrally providing the option, the language directly makes assumptions about me. It expects that I like the content, or that I have a desire to interact with it (therefore also pushing me adopt that mental position). Language that makes false assumptions of user's thoughts should discourage most users. – Ilari Kajaste Oct 1 '13 at 8:36
  • Not at all do I feel what you're feeling @IlariKajaste. I've witnessed on numerous occasions, especially on youtube, that people comment saying "FIRST!!!" That's because people get a sense of pride being the first to do anything. Especially in history, we note those who have been the first to establish, create, observe, etc... anything. That is why we note christopher columbus as "being the first to find america" even though that's not entirely true, him being the "first" is what made him so notable in history. – Majo0od Oct 1 '13 at 13:21

This is a case of Blank/Empty state and its a great way of delighting user when done right.

Phrases like "Be the first one to like this" , "Be the first among your friends to like this" will act as a motivational statement to perform an action.

And if you have a point/badges system in place, you can even say like

"Be the first one to like this
and score 20 points :)"

or give them a badge of say Discoverer.

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