Check out the Chrome Web Store and you’ll find something you won’t expect: a Facebook Like plug-in for your Google Chrome browser. The plug-in was launched quietly, devoid of any sort of announcement from the social networking site so there aren’t a lot of people who are aware of it. In fact, the launch happened way back in July 22. We’re only hearing about it now because they updated it September 1.
This plug-in seems to be Facebook’s answer to Google’s +1 button. We still don’t know the reason why Facebook has not officially announced it to the public yet. Perhaps they’re still on the testing stage and working to improve its functions.
Of course, just like any other plug-in, you’ll have to download this in order to use it. The plug-in allows you to like any webpage, picture, video, or music regardless of the whether the site has added a like button to their page or not. Once downloaded and installed, the plug-in manifests in the form of a little thumbs up button located at the right side of the search and address box of your Google Chrome browser. If you right click on the page, picture, or video, the plug-in shows up at the menu and you can choose to like, recommend, or share the link or image. You will also be given an option to add a comment if you so desire. The like button also indicates the number of likes that the website has generated so far.
It’s a useful little tool, but it’s another one where it would do you well to read the fine print. “To provide a personalized experience, Facebook will see some technical information such as the URL of the page you are on, your IP address, and the date and time you visited the site. All information collected before you log into Facebook is anonymous or aggregated and will not identify you.”
That, in a nutshell, means that it will be mining your data while you’re logged into Facebook. It will know which sites you go to and when you go there. You will also be allowing the company to see your IP address. Of course, Facebook has promised that the data it collects will be anonymous, so it’s relatively harmless.
Still, when it all comes down to it, is the ability to ‘like’ something with more ease really so important that you’d give away data about your browsing habits?