Rumours of a possible ‘dislike’ button have been circulating the web for years, but earlier this month the news was finally confirmed by none other than Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
After years of user demands and even a petition begging for the button’s introduction, it’s finally in the pipeline. So what does this mean for Facebook users?
The ability to ‘dislike’.
At a recent Q&A at Facebook HQ, the famous CEO stated that 'not every moment is a good moment’, before going on to say ‘I think people have asked about the dislike button for many years. Today is a special day because today is the day I can say we’re working on it and shipping it’.
But what about the downsides?
Online critics have criticised the idea of a ‘dislike’ button, due to the risk of users being offended, hurt or left out when people ‘dislike’ their social media posts.
Others have said that the act of pressing a button simply cannot compare to a comment or message of support or condolence.
There is also a risk of people feeling rejected when their posts fail to receive any sympathy at all. It could potentially be seen as hurtful to see a status regarding a user’s difficult time yet not press the ‘dislike’ button.
But Zuckerberg is certain that the button won’t be used in an offensive manner. He said, “What people want is the ability to express empathy”, showing that the button will be used to sympathise with other users rather than directly show disapproval or disdain for their post.
This ties in with the fact Facebook have not yet confirmed what the button will be called. Chances are, it won’t be called the ‘dislike’ button, instead adopting a more pleasant term. Past rumours have pointed towards a ‘sympathise’ button which was actually brainstormed by executives at Facebook during a Hackathon in 2014. Although users were excited at the prospect at the time, Facebook stated that it was not the right time to begin rolling out that particular idea.
Hackathons have been the source of many of Facebook’s great ideas in the past, such as the original ‘like’ button, so it’s no surprise they brought the dislike button to fruition too.
When will the dislike button be rolled out?
Facebook currently don’t know for sure when the new feature will be making an appearance on the site, so don’t get too excited just yet.
However, according to CNN, Zuckerberg said ‘We have an idea that we’re going to be ready to test soon, and depending on how that does, we’ll roll it out more broadly”. It’s clear, then, that the idea is definitely in the works and may be rolled out to test users in the very near future.
Despite the wait, those who are excited for the dislike button are happy that it’s finally confirmed.
What do you think of the upcoming addition to Facebook? Do you think Facebook will introduce the button effectively? Share your thoughts below – we’d love to hear your point of view!