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Suggest FT add “Like” button [implemented 9 Aug 2017]

Old Aug 8, 2017, 9:37 am
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Last edit by: JDiver
The new "Like" "button"

When you click on the "Like" button, it registers the handle of the user liking the post in a horizontal box immediately below the "Like" button. "Liking" a post also optionally sends a notification to the post owner. "Like" notifications appear in Your Control Panel in My FlyerTalk.

To turn the notification function on or off, look in Your Control Panel and Settings & Options under Messaging & Notification:

Likes Notifications:
  • Enable Likes Notifications
  • Disable Likes Notifications

NOTE: Editing a post causes the "Likes" to disappear for a short period of time. They are restored after that pause.

To report issues, problems etc. please visit this thread in the Technical Support and Feedback forum: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/technical-support-feedback/1863159-new-like-button-information-issues-discussion.html

LIST OF SUGGESTIONS, PROS and CONS discussed in thread:

Please add all your suggestions since implementation, August 9 2017:
  1. Modify Like button to take up less real estate - ie, put the button w/ the other buttons & likes under signatures or list only if hover
  2. Allow members to completely turn off the ability to see likes
  3. Use Helpful instead of Like
  4. Completely eliminate Like button
  5. Do not display handles of those who Liked the post

"Some FTers are supportive of like/helpful button. Some are not. Some on both sides of the issue have questions, concerns and/or need more info. This wiki attempts to highlight them in bullet format/"cliff notes" version from the 566 posts made in prior Talkboard thread, which had 700 posts. More detailed information regarding the pros/cons/questions/concerns/info can be garnered by reading the entire thread, where FTers on both sides of the like/helpful button have been eloquent/provided valuable input. When TalkBoard last polled FT members, the result of the poll was in favour of introducing likes (by a considerable margin)

Pros:
* Make Flyertalk more modern/more like Facebook, LinkedIn and many other social media sites
* A like/helpful button would minimize unnecessary replies such as +1.
* Streamlines posts
* The value add of showing likes, helpful votes, etc. is that it can surface good content and get more views for it
* Positive feedback incentivizes quality content/FTers will post more
* Some people won’t take time to write a thank you but will post a like
* Those with more likes/helpfuls are considered knowledgable

Cons:
* Makes Flyertalk more like Facebook/dumbs it down
* FT had rating system here years ago and it did not go well
* System can be gamed/cliques develop
* Clutters up posts/takes up valuable screen space
* Will not eliminate +1s/+1s also provide positive feedback
* Posts that have inaccurate info can also get likes/doesn't mean poster is knowledgable
* If FTers post info & it doesn't get likes/helpfuls, less incentive to post more
* Some who might have posted info in the past will now just post like, so less information provided to other FTers.

Questions, concerns about how it will work, and/or information based on brief internal trial already done (trial done last time it came up for discussion)
* If implemented, can FTers who prefer not to utilize the like/helpful button turn it off so that they don't see it at all?
* Is there a software way to separate likes of posts from posters? (Limited trial indicates no; don't know if software can be changed to do so)
* Can a post/day count be implemented before implementing for FTers, similar Omni/CC? (Yes)
* Can certain forums have it turned off such as Omni? (No, current software is it's either all forums or none)
* If a sitewide trial is created, what are the metrics for success or failure?
* What is the goal of this/how will the data be used?
* If customization of current software is required, will this take away from development on other projects such as a better mobile app?
* Will or can there be a dislike/unhelpful button?
* What happens if a post that is "liked" gets its content edited and ends up having a different meaning than it initially had at the time the post was "liked"?
* Can threads or individual posts deemed helpful be bookmarked/saved?"

IBobi responded to theses comments and questions here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28664495-post59.html


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Suggest FT add “Like” button [implemented 9 Aug 2017]

Old Aug 11, 2017, 5:46 pm
  #151  
 
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Originally Posted by Prospero
The result of the poll conducted in the TalkBoard Topics forum two years certainly suggested a quiet majority were in favour, where 60% of members who voted supported the implementation of a “Helpful” button feature; 38% were opposed to it and 2% registered no opinion.
A helpful button is different from a like button. There are at least two fundamental problems with a like button ("fundamental" meaning with the concept as opposed to the specific implementation, position, appearance, etc.):
  • What does it mean to like a post? Saying a post is helpful seems somewhat more clear.
  • What is the effect on a post of being liked? Is there a way to view a thread that only displays liked posts? If not, why have it?

Years back, in the long thread about like, I suggested that what would be helpful would be a way to indicate (by the poster or moderator, or maybe by voting) that a post contained factual information rather than options, with a corresponding way to view a thread that only showed such "factual" posts, as a way to make reading massive threads feasible.

To extract from that suggestion, such features as "like," "factual," and "news" need two things to be useful: (1) it needs to be clear what the designation means, and (2) having the designation should affect the post/thread in a useful way.

Originally Posted by Himeno
Then don't implement it.
These 'like' features always turn into a popularity contest and serve no useful purpose on any site I have ever seen them.
Exactly. Unless they serve a useful purpose, and have a clear meaning, they don't belong here.

Originally Posted by Maluku_Flyer
It will certainly show which views are "popular". It won't show which are factually correct.

There aren't really that many pure "+1" posts without additional comment - and shouldn't these actually get deleted for "post padding"?

It'll eat up a lot more screen space because the likes will show up on loads of posts. And why couldn't it just be anonymous?
Yes, exactly.


Originally Posted by Maluku_Flyer
I'm afraid that the metric of success will be "people are using likes, so they must like the feature". That isn't necessarily the case. I've used likes on other site and on FB they have a different porpose. Liking a picture of XXX's cat doesn't mean the information is the least bit relevant.
Indeed.

Originally Posted by Maluku_Flyer
So why isn't the button labelled "Helpful" (IMDB does this on reviews)? "Like" is something very different and doesn't discourage indiscriminate use.

Example: BA really sucks and I'll think twice about ever flying with them again because they changed the brand of champagne in F.

Will get lots of likes. Helpful?

And then we'll also see posts like: I gave you a like, hope you realize it was an "ironic like".
Exactly. The feature needs to have a clear meaning, and be useful in some way.

Originally Posted by intuition
And in fact, the most obvious graphic for a like button has already been used for the "News" button, and that makes me wonder a little bit about the decision process. Could it be that too many people have been clicking the News button believing it was "Like", that drove the quick adding of the like feature?
"News" could be a useful feature if (1) it had a clear meaning, and (2) it affected the post/thread in some way. For example, since "news" implies "new," there might be a way to view threads that hid posts marked as "news" that were older than some threshold.

Originally Posted by Maluku_Flyer
I'd say it does nothing for me as poster and it annoys me as reader. Sure, it can convey instant gratification but I rather have one post saying "Thanks, that was really helpful" than a million likes.
Yes; it's annoying and useless.
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Old Aug 11, 2017, 8:53 pm
  #152  
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock
Thanks to the FTer who gave me instructions on how to eliminate the likes ^ I'm sure IB won't be happy w/ how it was accomplished, but then there are a # of us who use & contribute regularly to FT who weren't happy that this was implemented (and badly) w/o input from us & whose recommendations even now that it's live may go by the wayside.

I still think the best thing IB could do for FTers/FT is to provide an opt out option for the likes feature, as it does for other features. That way those who like likes can continue to see them & like to their hearts content, & those of us who don't care about likes & don't want to see them/the folk liking don't have to see them. It's called a 'win-win' situation & meets the needs to all FTers, & not just a subset.

Cheers.
Please share!
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Old Aug 11, 2017, 9:05 pm
  #153  
 
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Found this thread trying to figure out a way to disable this. Hopefully it gets dropped or there is a way to opt out.
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Old Aug 11, 2017, 11:17 pm
  #154  
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Hello and good day,

It has come to our attention that occasionally, strong feelings can overcome our FlyerTalk spirit and Rules. We encourage you to share your perspective and suggestions about this new feature, but let's please refrain from invective against IB staff or other members.

Our Community Director posted as follows in the "Welcome" "sticky", and its useful to review (extract for convenience):

Originally Posted by SanDiego1K
We want your ideas about how to make FlyerTalk an even better place. There are some simple guidelines for posting that will help us all achieve that goal:

  • Let’s make this a place for solutions, not complaints. Part of any good solution is positivity in suggesting it. Please refrain from snark and contentiousness. Don’t attack an idea another member suggests. Rather, give ideas that make it even better. Or, if a forum is suggested that you believe will be of minimal interest, give some statistics as to why.

    ...
  • ...if you have an issue with an individual poster either contact a moderator in the forum where they are posting.

Carol/SanDiego1K
Community Director
Thank you, cblaisd and JDiver, Co-Moderators
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Old Aug 12, 2017, 2:56 am
  #155  
 
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K
We are about to roll out a like button. I'll be posting a global announcement. Once you use it, feel free to post your reaction and any glitches that you experience.

Carol
Community Director
Yet another "something isn't broken but let's fix it" change, it's not something that's ever seemed to have overwhelming support, and will probably lead to less useful content being posted. Making something "more like Facebook" is not a good thing given each successive redesign of Facebook has made it less and less usable/useful and not a reason to change something. This is a message board, not a social media outlet, they're two entirely different things. If you're not going to reverse this decision (which, when it was tried to be implemented in the main forum I visit, basically the Flyertalk of its subject, was so vehemently opposed it got reversed already), at least allow the option to turn it off. I want to read the content, not have extra buttons and clutter for no reason.
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Old Aug 12, 2017, 4:49 am
  #156  
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I strongly dislike the new like button and would like to see it disabled.

FlyerTalk stands out among internet forums for its depth and complexity of discussion and enabling a binary popularity measure of posts dilutes this exceptional quality. As others have pointed out, the distinction between a message board and social media is very important. FlyerTalk is about sharing advice and helping each other, not creating the most popular posts.

Beyond the like button's potential to reduce the quality of discussion and interaction on FlyerTalk, I also find its insertions into posts to be a massive eyesore.
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Old Aug 12, 2017, 6:30 am
  #157  
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Originally Posted by jt82
Yet another "something isn't broken but let's fix it" change, it's not something that's ever seemed to have overwhelming support, and will probably lead to less useful content being posted. Making something "more like Facebook" is not a good thing given each successive redesign of Facebook has made it less and less usable/useful and not a reason to change something. This is a message board, not a social media outlet, they're two entirely different things. If you're not going to reverse this decision (which, when it was tried to be implemented in the main forum I visit, basically the Flyertalk of its subject, was so vehemently opposed it got reversed already), at least allow the option to turn it off. I want to read the content, not have extra buttons and clutter for no reason.
Originally Posted by C W
I strongly dislike the new like button and would like to see it disabled.

FlyerTalk stands out among internet forums for its depth and complexity of discussion and enabling a binary popularity measure of posts dilutes this exceptional quality. As others have pointed out, the distinction between a message board and social media is very important. FlyerTalk is about sharing advice and helping each other, not creating the most popular posts.

Beyond the like button's potential to reduce the quality of discussion and interaction on FlyerTalk, I also find its insertions into posts to be a massive eyesore.
Agree w/ both.

Originally Posted by nsx
I raised the excessive screen real estate issue internally several days ago and I believe it will be addressed in a future update. I imagine that "nice to have but not money-making" features do not get top priority for development.

We'll know in a month or so whether or not this feature benefits FT. The (hopefully temporary) screen real estate problem won't affect that evaluation.
So basically you're saying that this is here to stay, if IB is going to fix the (currently) lousy display of likes in a future update. If that's the case, is there any reason FTers should provide input here? It seems like it doesn't matter what we say.

How is it determined if the feature benefits FT? What measure specifically will be used? Complaints die down? Some might not bother providing input if they don't think it will really matter. Others might not complain, but just won't bother frequenting FT as much or provide content when they do, which would be a loss to FT (and a bit of irony that in trying to make FT more friendly it drives FTers away). I & other FTers truly are interested in what the measure of 'success' will be.

Also, we're still waiting for an explanation for why the Omnis have been excluded. It's been said likes can't be gamed, so there's no rational reason to exclude the Omnis. If there is a valid reason we would be interested in knowing what it is. Presumably including the Omnis would also help determine if likes is a success site wide.

While I don't think likes needs to be on FT (for reasons others have stated above), if likes were to continue the best solution - and a 'win-win' for all FTers is to do both a & b.

a) fix the horrible display of likes sooner rather than later
b) provide an opt-out. those who like likes can see them; those who don't want to have their viewing disrupted can read FT as they always have

Cheers.

Last edited by SkiAdcock; Aug 12, 2017 at 6:57 am Reason: fix some typos, grammar, add some questions...
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Old Aug 12, 2017, 7:36 am
  #158  
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Originally Posted by Silverswimmer
I think a "Helpful" button rather than a "Like" button would be more meaningful.
SS
I agree, due to the subject manner of this forum, "helpful", "not helpful" & "very helpful" on trip reports is warranted.

People send a lot of time to gather thoughts/notes as well as pictures to write a trip report, There should be a range of responses.
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Old Aug 12, 2017, 8:18 am
  #159  
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock
b) provide an opt-out. those who like likes can see them; those who don't want to have their viewing disrupted can read FT as they always have
Yes, please. ^
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Old Aug 12, 2017, 8:25 am
  #160  
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What's interesting about the like button & the poll that was done a couple of years ago...

From post #255 in the 700+ post thread (posted by JDiver in his mod capacity):

"TalkBoard has requested a thirty day poll, and as Internet Brands prefers "Helpful" to "Like", that is the term used in the poll."

If IB preferred Helpful to Like, why is the current implementation Like instead of Helpful?

My own opinion on why IB preferred H to L is a) IB thought the poll would have a better chance of yes votes w/ H vs. L; b) H has a bit more clarification/meaning than a generic Like.

It should also be noted that wrt to the poll that was done (again from the 700 post thread & quoting my own post), "The poll was actually much against until a week ago, when in a 48 hr period it switched, and then since then the poll has basically stayed the same. It's not the norm for polls to move one way or another that fast & that much (true re: whichever direction it goes, yes or no), especially during a time when FTers are not on FT as much (Xmas holidays). Prior & post that 48-hour blip, the voting has been pretty stable/not that many votes." So it would have been interesting to see if the poll had actually been 60/40 if not for the 48-hr blip, or if it would have been flipped as it was was before the blip. This is in addition to the posts in the 700 post thread being 50/50.

I do think, if like is going to stay as has been implied, that the like button should be switched to a helpful button & not like (I've added this to the wiki)

Cheers.
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Old Aug 12, 2017, 8:43 am
  #161  
 
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Flyertalk and Facebook

I wanted to point out that Facebook has become massively popular as a platform for discussions on a large variety of topics, including those that directly compete with Flyertalk. As FB becomes more a "go to" source for information on specific airline programs, aircraft configuration, ticketing, and so forth, the deficiencies of FB's platform as host of serious discussions are plentiful and glaring, yet people persist, presumably because FB is there and they spend a lot of time on it anyway. Given this, why would IB want to make FT a less useful platform, one more like FB? It seems to me that IB should be working to make FT more distinct and more useful, as a differentiator.

FT can't compete with FB by out-FBing FB. FT can only compete by being different, and better-suited for the task.
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Old Aug 12, 2017, 8:51 am
  #162  
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Originally Posted by anabolism
It seems to me that IB should be working to make FT more distinct and more useful, as a differentiator. FT can't compete with FB by out-FBing FB. FT can only compete by being different, and better-suited for the task.
Well-said.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 12, 2017, 8:54 am
  #163  
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock
...I do think, if like is going to stay as has been implied, that the like button should be switched to a helpful button & not like (I've added this to the wiki)
I like this idea as well-- "helpful" rather than "like"
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Old Aug 12, 2017, 9:14 am
  #164  
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock
So basically you're saying that this is here to stay, if IB is going to fix the (currently) lousy display of likes in a future update. If that's the case, is there any reason FTers should provide input here? It seems like it doesn't matter what we say.
SanDiego1K will make all these decisions, subject to IB's ability to implement. I'm sure she reads and considers everything you write on the subject.

I believe that positive feedback will encourage members to make more posts that other members value. Any improvement in the tone of forums would be subtle. SanDiego1K is in the best position to sense that. I am intrigued by the possibility of trying this in OMNI/PR where any changes in posting behavior would be more readily apparent.
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Old Aug 12, 2017, 11:45 am
  #165  
 
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Another vote for an opt out option.
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