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Facebook beefs up Like button

Social-networking site has added Share functionality to the Like button on third-party sites. Are Share's days numbered?

Facebook's new Like presentation, along with the older Recommend presentation. Screenshot by Steven Musil/CNET

Is Facebook getting ready to show its Share button the door?

The social-networking giant recently released an update that adds Share button functionality to the Like button, perhaps presaging the phasing out of the Share button. When a Facebook user clicks the Like or Recommend button on a third-party site, a full feed story with headline, blurb, and thumbnail is generated on the user's wall. Users will also have the option of commenting on it.

Previously, unless third-party publishers chose the Like with Comment version of the button for their site, users got only a link to the story in their recent activity section on their wall. Now the Like, Share, and Recommend buttons will all generate the full story with headline, blurb, and thumbnail.

The change should drive more referral traffic to third-party sites and perhaps reduce user confusion over how the buttons work. But because the content will now be more prominent on user's walls, some may be more reluctant to click the Like button.

Facebook is apparently no longer supporting development of the Share button, having removed it from the developers documentation section of the site, and a search for Facebook Share in the developers section redirects to the Like button documentation page.

Facebook representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.