Facebook customers have been asking for more options than a “like” button for years — suggesting a “dislike,” or an “interesting,” or something that expresses sympathy or empathy. At a Facebook Q and A yesterday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg responded.
Straight from the horse’s mouth:
“People have asked about the dislike button for many years….Today is a special day, because today is the day that I actually get to say that we’re working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it.”
He explains that the evaluation process “took a while” because, “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,” (reinforcing that Facebook is not Reddit).
“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 was important to you in your day and then have someone downvote it. That isn’t what we’re here to build in the world… People aren’t really looking for the 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. 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 passed away. Then it may not feel comfortable to like that post, but your friends want to be able to express that they understand and they relate to you. I do think that it’s important to give people more options than just ‘like’ as a quick way to emote and share their feeling on a post.”
So, when is Facebook getting a ‘dislike’ button?
“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.”