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You may have recently noticed that Facebook has changed the way that it allows users to interact with brands on their site. Now, instead of “Becoming a Fan” of a brand, users now “Like” brands. The change that was made earlier this April went unnoticed by many, but may have significant implications for businesses in the near future. This brings about two questions – Why the change? And how will it make an impact?

According to Facebook, the change was made to increase user interaction with brands on the site. Users are more willing to “Like” a brand than to “Become a Fan” of it. It is easier, and holds less of a commitment. In fact, users click “Like” twice as often as they click “Become a Fan” every day on Facebook. With the change, Facebook expects that brands will attain more followers, for lack of a better term (sorry Twitter). For example, I may like Mashable because it feeds me my daily Social Media news, but I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a fan.

Furthermore, the change alters the layout of your Page. Before, you could only see users that were “Fans” of your page, but now you can see everybody who “Likes” your Page as well as how many you your friends “Like” your Page. Besides the name change and the layout differences, there is no significant difference between “Becoming a Fan” and “Liking” a Page. Time will tell if Facebook’s strategy of increasing user engagement will work.

What do you think? Are you more willing to “Like” a page than “Become a Fan” of it? How about from a business point of view? Will it help your engagement? Let us know!