“The like and the favorite are the new metrics of success—very literally. Not only are they ego-feeders for the stuff we put online as individuals, but advertisers track their campaigns on Facebook by how often they are liked,” Mat Honan reports for Wired. “A recent New York Times story on a krill oil ad campaign lays bare how much the like matters to advertisers. Liking is an economic act.”

“I like everything. Or at least I did, for 48 hours. Literally everything Facebook sent my way, I liked—even if I hated it,” Honan reports. “I decided to embark on a campaign of conscious liking, to see how it would affect what Facebook showed me. I know this sounds like a stunt (and it was) but it was also genuinely just an open-ended experiment. I wasn’t sure how long I’d keep it up (48 hours was all I could stand) or what I’d learn (possibly nothing.)”

“In 2014 the News Feed is a highly-curated presentation, delivered to you by a complicated formula based on the actions you take on the site, and across the web,” Honan reports. “I wanted to see how my Facebook experience would change if I constantly rewarded the robots making these decisions for me, if I continually said, ‘good job, robot, I like this.’ I also decided I’d only do this on Facebook itself – trying to hit every Like button I came across on the open web would just be too daunting. But even when I kept the experiment to the site itself, the results were dramatic.”

Read more in the full article here.