How Vimeo became hipster YouTube
November 17, 2005 is a day that lives in online infamy. While no one knew it at the time (5:28 p.m., to be precise) this is when the first ‘Like’ button was clicked.
Of all the websites that currently feature the social media stamp of approval — like Internet heavyweights Facebook and Pandora — the ubiquitous ‘thumbs-up’ originated on the unlikeliest of places: the online video-sharing service Vimeo.
First off, claiming to invent the ‘like’ button is like saying you were the first person to ever eat cold pizza for breakfast — it’s probably not true, and whoever actually had the first slice likely didn’t take note of the landmark event.
Secondly, Vimeo’s vice president of product and development, Andrew Pile, readily admits they copied the idea from social news aggregator Digg. (“We liked the Digg concept, but we didn’t want to call it ‘Diggs,’ so we came up with ‘Likes,'” says Pile.)