This Thursday, Facebook is hosting its annual f8 conference. This event will be full of news about the world’s largest social network, but you don’t have to wait until Thursday to find out the biggest story … We’ve got it for you today!

Facebook is introducing four new buttons that are going to change your life: Want. Read. Listened. Watched.

These four words might seem small, but think of what the “Like” button has done to the Internet. Before the “Like” button, when you wanted to let people know that you found something cool you emailed them a note like “check out this video of a cat rapping.” Now, all you have to do is click the “Like” button and Facebook lets the people in your network know you think something is cool right away, which is much less work for you. And with the proliferation of the “Like” button everywhere across the internet, media companies, fashion brands and everyone in between are scrambling to get you to “Like”  what they have, so that what they have is seen by your friends on Facebook.

That said, there are certain limitations to the “Like” button. Most notably, a “Like” doesn’t really mean anything specific. You can “Like” a pair of Jordans, and “Like” Jesus, but those are very different likes when you think about it. Which is where the new buttons come in.

Starting Thursday, Facebook will allow a small group of users the ability to “Want,” “Read,” “Listened” and “Watched” anything. This means that instead of “Liking” a new Prada bag you will be able to “Want” the bag –- an important signal to send to that special someone who should never have been out that late –- something that if you think in terms of the +700 million users could drastically change online shopping and gift giving. But that’s only the start. With the new buttons you will be able to help your friends understand what you have been reading, watching, listening to in real-time. And since these three things basically amount to what people do on the internet Facebook is announcing a very big change indeed.

What do you think? What cool and interesting ways could these buttons be used? Do you think Facebook should just stop with the “Like” or are you excited about the prospect of the internet becoming more custom for you?

(Originally posted at


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