I am wondering what is the need for Facebook for showing the text "Like" when they most popular hand symbol to show the like button.

enter image description here

My main concern is that we have a platform for note book sharing and we have a like feature with a symbol enter image description here so students can like the document.

We didn't keep text for the symbol and very few people are using out of 2000 registered users in our website.

I am concerned whether we need to display text like "Like"

  • 2
    For many British speaking countries the vsign is an obscene gesture with the knuckles facing away so its like you are adding a button for people to flip off the document! :P
    – JamesRyan
    Nov 2, 2015 at 13:16
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    @PutPeace - No offense but the hand gesture you posted to me doesn't convey like in any way. In fact you should explicitly say it.
    – JonH
    Nov 2, 2015 at 16:05

4 Answers 4


It's much more usable to have text accompanying icons.

The paradox of icons is they have to be universally recognizable enough that they could appear without text, but they never should appear without text.

Also with the Like text, the clickable size of the icon is larger, ie it's more accessible.

Your chosen icon to represent a Like action is poor, to be frank. It's not immediately clear what the 'peace' hand gesture represents in its context.


I think this is too early to abandon description from this particular action. The icon itself still can mean 'Thumbs up' or 'Okay'. Facebook users are not only techy young people, who understand what 'liking' exactly means. Keeping the label makes it more clear and also helps to associate 'Like' action to Facebook itself, so it's not only practical, but also good for FB from the commercial perspective.

Also, it makes it consistent with Comment and Share buttons, which definetely shouldn't be used with no label.


I agree with the usability concerns everyone brought up. To add to that:

The underlying is reason is purely business driven. Facebook business model depends on more people clicking on the Like button, so to everyone's point, they're removing any possible barrier from users clicking on it.

From design perspective, you'd also need to consider if the other two icons' text labels can be removed. Otherwise, you will end up with an unbalanced design, or worse, a design that makes the Like icon less visible than the other two.


Icons combined with text labels work better, since the friction to understand them is lower.

  • 1
    Can you elaborate more and maybe provide some sources?
    – BDD
    Nov 2, 2015 at 16:25

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