For years, a Dislike button has been the most requested Facebook feature from its users for years. Finally, this week CEO Mark Zuckerberg reveals the company is building a way for people “to express that they understand and that they relate to you” when you share something sad, such as news of a natural disaster or a death in the family.There has been a rumor that Facebook is now adding a “dislike” alongside the widely used “like” button to Facebook. Not so fast. At the recent live Q&A, Mark Zuckerberg answered the question.
There will not be a “thumbs-down” dislike button anytime soon. The Zuck said “We didn’t want to just build a Dislike button because we don’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts. That doesn’t seem like the kind of community we want to create.”
The truth of the matter is that Facebook is working on a solution to the problem of ‘liking’ a post that really brings about a negative sentiment, much like the current Syrian refugee crisis, or many of the mainstream news Facebook Page items. Let’s face it – not every news item is good news.
Here is a video of Zuckerberg’s response to the “Dislike” button feature at the Facebook Q&A session:
I think Zuckerberg and the Facebook team are on board with adhering to the wishes of the masses when it comes to being able to convey empathy and emotion. There are not just two levels of emotion, namely ‘like’ and ‘dislike’, so it could not be possible to transfer our emotions to a simple ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ click of a button. Facebook understands, as the rest of us do, that it’s much more complicated. He also admits that to create a system to allow us to do that is complicated, as well.
What Will It Look Like?
So what will this button look like? Well, there is already a way to express sentiment by adding “I’m feeling…” and then you can add the sentiment, such as blessing, exhausted, a whole variety of choices. But one article I read, Facebook’s Not-Quite-A-Dislike Button Could Just Be Emoji, Which It Patented, by Josh Constine on Twitter, puts forth the Emoji idea. It’s a great post, I wasn’t familiar with workplace chat features.
Slack, a workplace chat app, already has an emoji sentiment feature. In the workplace chat app, you can “Add A Reaction” and then you’re served a ginormous list of standard Emojis or custom-made ones that your company uploads for you to respond to a post. Currently, we have Facebook emojis to choose from to comment within a post, but nothing to quickly show our emotional “stamp” quickly on a post. Here is what Facebook currently serves us. The most negative sentiment I think might be a “poo.” (had to throw that in there – does anyone actually use that?)
Zuckerberg’s TownHall Response
“You know, it took us awhile to get here. Because you know, we didn’t want to just build a Dislike button because we don’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts. That doesn’t seem like the kind of community we want to create. You don’t want to go through the process of sharing some moment that’s important to you in your day and then have someone down vote it. That isn’t what we’re here to build in the world.
But over the years of people asking for this, what we’ve kind of come to understand is that people aren’t looking an ability to downvote other people’s posts. What they really want is to be able to express empathy.
Not every moment is a good moment, right? And if you are sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events like the refugee crisis that touches you or if a family member past away, then it might not feel comfortable to Like that post. But your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand and that they relate to you.
So I do think that it’s important to give people more options than just Like as a quick way to emote and share what they’re feeling on a post, so we’ve been working on this for awhile. It’s surprisingly complicated to make an interaction that you want to be that simple. But we have an idea that we think we’re going to be ready to test soon, and depending on how that does, we’ll roll it out more broadly.
But thank you for all the feedback on this over the years. I think we’ve finally heard you and we’re working on this and hopefully we will deliver something that meets the needs of our community.”
The Real Scoop
For now, there’s no real new feature at this time to help with this problem of miscommunicated sentiment, but Facebook has confirmed they they are working actively on a solution to the problem. At some point in the near future, we will all have more of a choice than just ‘like,’ comment’ and ‘share’ on Facebook. Other platforms, such as workplace chat, feature emojis and a selection of emotions. Other platforms like Periscope, feature ‘hearts’ when you tap on the screen to show you are enjoying someone’s scope. LinkedIn has ‘like’ and comment, with Twitter featuring ‘favorite,’ much like the Facebook ‘like’ to show a positive sentiment.
I think in the near future as social media becomes engrained in every facet of our lives, including the mainstream media. I believe in the future it will be really easy to share our feedback more than hop onto twitter and use a hashtag. It’s very primitive now, but Facebook is at the forefront of it all, with powerful communities within it. There is no question that the experience will become more and more human for us all.
So, no dislike button for now, don’t believe the rumor. But change is on the way.
What do you propose would be a good solution? An emoji choice? A scale from sad to happy? I’d like to hear your take on a solution.
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