Facebook already lets people show that they like comments or pictures posted on the site, and it says users click that term almost twice as much as they click "become a fan." Facebook says changing the button will make users more comfortable with linking up with a brand and will streamline the site.
"The idea of liking a brand is a much more natural action than (becoming a fan) of a brand," said Michael Lazerow, CEO of Buddy Media, which helps companies establish their brands and advertise on social networks such as Facebook. "In many ways it's a lower threshold."
But while it might seem to be less of a commitment to declare that you "like" Coca-Cola than to announce you are a fan of it, the meaning essentially would stay the same: Your Facebook friends would see that you clicked that you "like" a page, and such pages would still be listed on your Facebook profile for anyone to see.
I like becoming a fan. Liking businesses (and people) I like is dull, non-committal, lazy. Facebook is doing this to make it easier for businesses and customers connect, but we'll need to see if it makes that connection low value and worthless.