Facebook is Not Building a Dislike Button

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The power of a title can light the internet on fire.

News came out recently of Facebook’s decision to work on a dislike button, a feature Facebook users have been requesting for a while now, and the internet went bonkers. Some rejoiced and some were staunchly against the decision. Some were excited that they could finally show disdain for the influx of brainless status updates they see on their personal feed without severing their electronic relationship. Many claimed that it would incite a large increase in cyberbullying and would cause more bad than good.  Turns out, a large majority didn’t even read or watch what Zuckerberg actually announced.

Facebook is NOT building a dislike button.

Zuckerberg announced that they were working a button that came from the large push from users to have a dislike button. But unlike the more visceral intent that dislike button supporters and detractors had envisioned, the button Facebook is working on is to empathize, not dislike. Zuckerberg stated that he didn’t want this button to turn Facebook into a forum where statuses could be up-voted or down-voted, but instead to show empathy and emotion. It just seems wrong to see a status about a family member passing or a friend losing a house to a fire and then click “like” to acknowledge that you have seen this and have reacted to it with empathy.

Credit: Know Your Meme Captain America meme

The idea Facebook is striving for is community support, not conflict.

Is the dislike button REALLY a bad idea?

For personal Facebook use: absolutely. It invites pure anarchy and could literally demolish a person’s self-worth or self-esteem.

For business Facebook use: quite the opposite. I’ve remarked that using social media to do market research is one of the best ways to dig into user intent and opinion. Of course, the like button has been around a long time now and commenters love to throw an opinion in there. But what if you could get a simple yes or no?

Imagine considering a redesign or rebranding of a product or changing the name or way someone uses a service? You’d have to pay a marketing firm or utilize countless work hours to do market research, focus groups, and the list goes on. What if you could simply ask the question and get an answer? Facebook is embedded in our daily lives both personally and professionally. Why not take full advantage of that? A dislike button, purely for business pages, could turn out to be a game changer for digital marketers and marketing professionals in general.

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