If you’re a Facebook junkie (or even a casual user), you’ve undoubtedly come across compelling posts where the “Like” button just doesn’t make sense–a horrifying picture of a natural disaster, say, or a photo of a war-torn village. For those times, ad agency DDB has created the I Care button, an alternative to “Like” that simply tells people you care.
The idea for “I Care” came in 2010 when a handful of DDB employees began discussing how it seemed inappropriate to click “Like” when looking at disaster photos. “‘Like’ seemed like such an inappropriate thing to be saying when so many people were suffering,” explains Matt Eastwood, chief creative officer at DDB. “We thought, shouldn’t there be something else that helps people say I care about this but it’s not something I like?”
So Eastwood and his colleagues began working on the project in their off hours–there’s no real client for something like this, after all. The result of DDB’s work is a website where anyone can register and get access to the button, which is intended to be embedded on sites where “Like” may not be the right word. Whenever someone clicks, they are given the option of sharing the story on Facebook (where there’s always the chance that someone will just click “Like” anyways, but there’s only so much you can do). The site keeps track of clicks on the button and uses that information to create a list of trending topics so that anyone can see what people care the most about at the moment–for example, Kony 2012, the Fukushima disaster, or poverty in general.
MTV is currently using the button on its socially-conscious Voices platform, where users now have the option to Tweet, Like, +1, or click I Care. “They cover some pretty gnarly issues. This is something I think that people are really crying out for and don’t know they need it until they see it,” says Eastwood.