I'm building a web-app where users indicate that they "like" feed-items published by other users. The act of "liking" also inherently bookmarks the feed-item as well as the publishing user. I'm wondering if there are other verbs that I can use to represent this action. Below are some options I've considered

  • Like: Too facebooky, does not signify anything about bookmarking for future use
  • Bookmark: Doesn't necessarily indicate "liking"
  • Favorite
  • Tag

I'd like to if there are other (or one of the above) that suits this purpose better

  • 19
    A star is also often used. "Star this"
    – Mirco
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 7:13
  • 2
    "Like" and "+1" would be bad terms as, to me at least, they don't suggest any sort of permanence or bookmarking. Bookmarking, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily suggest liking. For example, I have various websites bookmarked without especially liking them: they just perform necessary tasks. Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 9:47
  • 4
    Just consider a -1, please. One of my pet-peeves about Facebook is that post that is simply incorrect eventually gets +1'd by enough idiots. Sometimes, negative feedback is required. (Of course, this might not make sense for your app.)
    – Thanatos
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 7:16
  • Perhaps "pin" would be a good name.
    – Keavon
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 22:41
  • 2
    Perhaps "Subscribe"?
    – user8889
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 19:52

15 Answers 15


"Like" is Facebook's creation and is strongly associated with Facebook. +1 is Google+'s creation and is totally associated with its brand.

Thinking out of the box... It seems your functionality is not exactly the same as "liking". It's more "like & follow". There is no single word for that, so alternatively you could invent your own vocabulary. Similarly to a "tweet" being a twitter result, you could invent your own word, possibly derived from your webapp's name. Suppose you web app is named "Grease", you could have a "Grease this!" button, or a "Grease" button or whatever. A Greasee could then be a feed item that was marked with the "Grease" button.

Before you know it all the kids in the street will be talking about their Grease and Greasees and how much they are Greasing every day.

  • 18
    I think to "Star" something is typically used to encompass "like & follow".
    – drusepth
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 13:36
  • 6
    I think +1 is far more associated with StackExchange's upvote/downvote arrows than G+...
    – Izkata
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 17:46
  • 5
    @Izkata for people on StackExcahnge, perhaps. But Google is far more popular, and they explicitly label the "button" as "+1", while SE uses arrows. "+1" is just used by the commenters to indicate they are explaining their vote.
    – trlkly
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 21:58
  • 3
    Maybe you should call it a woof :) youtube.com/watch?v=8wfG8ngFvPk&feature=kp Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 1:32
  • 4
    PORK IT! from 8 websites you need to stop making.
    – Patrick M
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 0:45

Personally I like love which is often represented by an icon of a heart and popular in social media. Then you dont have to write the word love but simply use the heart.

enter image description here

But if you don't like the heart icon, you can always find a synonym from Thesaurus.com:

enter image description here

  • 41
    "Don't forget to derive pleasure from us!"
    – Casey
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 15:08
  • 60
    Wesley Murch and 3 others luxuriate in this.
    – user4487
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 17:35
  • 2
    I stuck on this answer Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 18:50
  • 4
    Wow, I really get a kick out of this post. +1 and hankered for!
    – Doorknob
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 20:03
  • 3
    I'm glad I got to feast on this content.
    – asfallows
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 20:52

What about Star? Google Reader did this and it was pretty clear it went into the Starred Items folder and your friends would also see you starred an item; it also served to bookmark.

The other thing I was just thinking is that unless you told people, no matter what term you used it would still be unclear you "liked" that user. That seems totally different to me than liking a post by someone... I may not want to like the user themselves, just their one post I found interesting.

  • Star seems like the obvious choice. It's used in Chrome, GitHub, Gmail, probably lots of other places. Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 22:26

I think "Favourite" is the nicest commonly used internet term that encompasses the ideas of "like" and "bookmark".

  • 1
    And for those using Internet Explorer browsers, wouldn't they be confused as to whether the intent is to bookmark the page (put in Favorites) or do something else?
    – Phil Perry
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 16:42
  • 2
    @PhilPerry "And for those using Internet Explorer browsers, wouldn't they be confused" YES.
    – Jason C
    Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 15:09

Have you heard about reactions? You can see how Fastcompany.com is using it on some of their blogposts and the full documentation of it here: http://www.readrboard.com/.

I've take a look at it and responding to your question, this technology allows your users or visitors to select the type of impression they have about what they are reading/viewing. I believe this has an advantage where by users creating impressions such as: interesting or even duh! other users may share those same impressions and let the site admin or content designer what is the content impact.

Take a look at the most popular reactions of users in certain sites:

enter image description here

  • 3
    Never been a big fan of this pattern, I've noticed Buzzfeed uses it. Just seems to splinter reactions into something harder to sort by (no universal "quality" metric). I'd want to be very sure you need all those emotions/statements as opposed to a binary choice or a rating scale.
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 13:00
  • 1
    Isn't that a "tag cloud", with the most common tags/responses largest? I agree that other than most-to-least popular (by size), it doesn't show all that much useful information.
    – Phil Perry
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 15:43
  • 1
    @PhilPerry, what I wanted to illustrate here are alternatives to the "like, +1 and favorite" words. It looks like a tag cloud because they are words that users choose the most.
    – Gus
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 17:00

I think there are a couple that you could use that have good iconography:

Pound It! or Fist Bump It!

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

and (in my best Borat voice)

High Five!

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Important Note: When you click the high five icon it should always play the corresponding sound!

  • 4
    "Pound it". Hm. Maybe it's just my dirty mind..
    – GolezTrol
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 8:51
  • 1
    Isn't that strongly cultural dependent? I think a fist bump, high five, or (!) a booty bump could be misunderstood by many people, unless you have a very limited and homogeneous set of visitors.
    – Phil Perry
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 15:41
  • @PhilPerry - I would think that a fist bump or high five is pretty universal. Just look at sports all around the world. They all do it. You could even include "chest bump" to your "booty bump". Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 15:44
  • 1
    OK, is your 80 year old grandmother going to understand what a fist bump is? How about someone from a foreign culture where intimate personal contact is strongly frowned upon (and they don't even shake hands)?
    – Phil Perry
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 15:51
  • @PhilPerry - First of all, yes, she's cool like that. Secondly, I think you may be diving a tad too deep. These are simply alternatives that are outside the box which have a bit of humor attached. There was never a specific target audience mentioned by the OP. Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 16:02

This is very interesting and immediately reminds me of Pinterest. Pinterest has two different actions one called "Pin", which basically bookmarks that item, which most of us can assume that if you are pinning something then you also like it. However, Pinterest also has an option to like a pin.

Why would you need the option to have both, when would you want to like something without bookmarking it, or in Pinterest's case "Pinning" it.


I think @Bart said it best, go outside of the box and create a new action word. It is a pattern that I think has been used for quite some time and people will understand it.

Another website that is also doing this is Yummly.



Changing the perspective can open other options.

Taking the user's perspective and benefit as the primary lens, you can come up with words like :

  • keep
  • save
  • collect

These words tell you about the value for you as a user and change the focus that is often put onto the contents themselves which eventually get the benefit of the user's action (distinction, election, etc.) as this often results in words such as "like", "star", etc.

  • I'd use this perspective and think about how the 'saved feeds' list is going to be called.
    – doctoraw
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 20:00
  • @doctoraw Maybe the user's "collection", "notepad", "nuggets", "treasure", "savings", "bookshelf", "drawer", "portfolio"... ;-)
    – Pierre
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 20:20
  • I agree. If it's going to be called 'collection' the perfect word would be 'collect', and so on..
    – doctoraw
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 11:13
  • Two very different semantics. Bookmarking (for myself) vs. liking (telling others) Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 16:56

What is the utility to 'liking' items, in respect to your product context & brand?

Think of a verb that reinforces the brand:

  • If you have an academic product, you might choose "cite"

  • If it's a competitive scenario, choose "promote"

These are just a couple simple examples

  • 2
    Except that, within academia, "cite" has a specific meaning and that ain't it. While you might, for example, say to somebody "I liked/+1'ed/hearted your comment", saying "I cited your comment" would likely receive the response, "What, you included it in the references of your paper?!?" Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 9:52
  • I am suggesting that a site may best implement a "like" feature if there is utility to the action of 'liking' - e.g. by having a meaningful result to the 'like', not just fire-and-forget. One such utility would be to later pull a selection of 'likes' into a citation list for one's own article or thesis. Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 15:23

I have used "Recommend" for forum posts in the past, and simply displaying the number of recommendations in a button next to each post. Rolling over the post adds "Recommendations: " in front of the button to explain it a little. It appears to work well - I appreciate not exactly the same use-case as yours, but you might like it.


Maybe you can come up with a phenomenon taken from the context of your app. Take Pinterest as an example, where you "pin" something on you pinboard. Is there some action in the real world that would reflect what you are trying to do?

It is a bit hard to come up with something without the context of your app, but if we are to keep it a bit more general here are my favourite suggestions (prioritized):

  • Bookmark
  • Favourite (very established term, why re-invent?)
  • Recommend (unfortunately a bit ambiguous, due to the fact that most people use - recommend when you are sending a link to someone specific)
  • Star
  • Cherish (IMO the best one from the synonyms posted above)
  • Admire
  • 1
    I Cherish Cherish
    – yoniLavi
    Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 15:45

I use a word in day-to-day life "Me gusta". Though it is spanish but being a popular meme term I think any user can relate to this.


You forgot about "vote it up", I think. Sounds quite neutral and not facebookish.
"upvote" probably goes too, but it is a bit stackexchangish ;-)

tag and bookmark don't seem to be synonyms of like.

  • 3
    I would probably word it "upvote" or "up vote" or "up-vote" instead, but I agree with the tag and bookmark statement. Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 18:39
  • @CodeMaverick look at this my question ;-) "Outside Stack Exchange, where the concept of upvotes and downvotes isn't so prevalent, using the verb upvote might be met with a raised eyebrow"
    – nicael
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 18:41
  • Possibly, but I tend to think it sounds more grammatically correct as "up vote" than "vote up". It seems it would probably have to be "vote it up" or "vote this up" to be grammatically correct that way. Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 18:49
  • @Code vote it up? Agree, better.
    – nicael
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 18:50
  • How is an up-vote neutral? Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 13:03

There are very interesting and innovative answers being given, but I think you'd have to explain your requirement a little more so as to make the right decision. For example,

  • Does everyone know how many people have bookmarked an item?
  • Does the original poster know that he is not bookmarked / followed?
  • What if that user is already bookmarked and you click on the button again, does it show liked/loved by default?

I would try to answer these question to further break the expectations you have from the user, and then think about alternatives.


In the context you require for showing appreciation ('liking') items in a feed, I think an icon based thumbsup/thumbsdown or heart/broken heart would work well...

This way, users can simply rate or not rate a feed item without it be closely associated with another web app and overcomes the problem of finding the right term to fit in with your app that users will not get confused over.

Like the below for example...

Rating Buttons

I guess the perfect choice for particular app though will largely come down to what expected action(s) happen after the like. For example:-

Are you going to:-

  • Remember a user's likes/dislikes and tweak the feed items displayed to them based on their preference?
  • Allow user's to bookmark/save for later reading.
  • Allow user's to add to favourites.
  • Allow ratings to be viewed by other user's of your app.
  • Can you befriend others in your app and see friends ratings.

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