Like it or hate it - the Like button is here to stay. In the first week of its launch 50,000 like buttons were integrated on various websites and more than 1M "likes" were registered within 24 hours of its introduction. At last count well over 100,000 websites integrate some form of Facebook's social plugins (including my site!).
Research is showing that we will use the Like button for many things because its is one of the easiest social actions (easier than share) and can signify you like certain content, show you like a certain product, approve of an advertisement, or share your feeling for a video. Whole activity streams are being created around the use of the Like button.
My favorite is Levis use of the Like button to create a social shopping experience. They've integrated the new Like feature with every product on the site so at a quick view, you can see the number of "Facebookers" who Like the item and maybe even cast your own vote. On individual product pages, it even pulls in pictures of your friends who've Liked the item. The best part is website extends the Facebook integration out to create a "friends store" which essentially customizes the entire experience to be Facebook friend centric and also allowing you to invite all your friends into that shopping experience! Hello affiliate marketing - I love it! If you haven't seen it you can check out the store at store.levi.com.
In the future you should be able to Like books on Amazon that you read for only your friends to see, Like search results on Bing to give your friends a heads up on the best result, perhaps even use the Like button to vote on the outcome certain TV shows (my favorite idea is to use the Like button for Reality TV shows such as The Apprentice, Top Chef, Survivor, or Project Runway and actually create the outcome of these shows).
Still in its infancy the Like button holds a lot of promise for Facebook as their march continues to making all interactions both web and mobile more social. In fact if Google's mission is to "index the worlds information" perhaps Facebook's mission is to "Socialize the worlds information!" (but I digress ...)
For marketers the like button holds some significant promise for extending the lifespan of your content. A recent statistic showed that with Liked content you can expect click thru rates to improve by 3-5 times compared to content that does not have a Like. In an age where there is more User Generated Content than Publisher (or marketer) Content - here is one way that B2B Marketers can ride that user generated wave to make your content stand out and live longer than it does today.