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Facebook could one day let you 'want' what you 'like'

Facebook may have inadvertently leaked a "Want" button that could mimic the functionality of its "Like" button -- and which would offer a new data bonanza for advertisers.

What do Mark Zuckerberg and his colleagues at Facebook have up their sleeves?
What do Mark Zuckerberg and his colleagues at Facebook have up their sleeves?
James Martin/CNET

Facebook has let slip a purported plug-in that would allow users on Web sites across the Internet to "want" specific items.

Developer Tom Waddington of Cut Out + Keep, a site allowing users to make and share craft tutorials, revealed on his personal blog earlier this week that he came across a "Want" button in the social network's JavaScript SDK. The button is not currently listed on Facebook's list of available site plug-ins, seeming to indicate that the company didn't want the news to slip just yet.

Waddington says that he tried to execute the "want" action, but it returns an error, saying that it's "not allowed to create actions of type product:product.wants for user."

A "Want" implementation could be interesting. Rather than allow people to "like" a Web site, company, or story, a "Want" button would allow them to show a desire for products. That data, which Facebook could collect around the Web, could then become another tool it can employ to attract advertisers. Waddington argues that Facebook could build "a universal wishlist" for each user with the feature.

Facebook tries out new products and ideas all of the time, so it's not necessarily a surprise that something it might be working on has slipped out. However, considering the impact "Like" had on the Web, the "Want" button could be one of those features that Facebook would have liked to keep hidden until it was fully ready to let out of the bag.

CNET has contacted Facebook for comment on the leak. We will update this story when we have more information.

(Via Inside Facebook)