According to Facebook research, Facebook users click the platform’s ‘Like’ designation almost twice as much as they click they “Become a Fan” of brand pages. So, with the goal of higher user-brand engagement the Palo-Alto based company is making changes – changes they hope users really ‘Like’.Within the next few weeks, the “Become a Fan” button will disappear entirely. In its place, users will find the ‘Like’ feature. Facebook announced these changes via a confidential email to ad agencies this week, in which the company openly mapped out their strategy: “’Like’ offers a simple, consistent way for people to connect with things they are interested in. These lighter-weight actions mean people will make more connections across the site, including with your branded Facebook pages. We believe this will result in brands gaining moiré connections to pages since our research has shown that some users would be more comfortable with the term ‘Like’. The goal is to get the most user connections so that you can have ongoing conversations in the news feed of as many users as possible.” Facebook is hoping that users will feel more comfortable sharing their loose affinity for certain products, as opposed to declaring their brand fanship. While at first blush, this change may appear purely linguistical, it has the potential to change the entire dynamic of Facebook brand relationships. Brand pages will likely no longer be a hub for die-hard fans. Instead, brand pages can strive to reach the more casual, if fickle, Facebook admirer – meaning more eye balls on brand messaging. Brands will also be able to get a solid qualitative read on general brand affinity and how aware the Facebook social media community is of their existence – which should prove quite useful for new product launches. Time will tell how users will respond to the changes, but if Facebook research holds true, these seemingly minute changes should lead to significant and positive effect. We’re a fan. We Like! For more information, please read ClickZ.