Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is working on a “dislike” button and it will be coming soon on its platform. The company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the plan during a Q&A session, which was streamed live online from Facebook headquarters on Tuesday.
“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,” said Zuckerberg. He added that people have been requesting Facebook to make a dislike button for years.
An option for Facebook users to express empathy
The social network giant was hesitant to do it due to worries that it would cause discontent among its users. However, Facebook finally decided to make the dislike button after realizing that people want to “express empathy” on certain status update such as the death of a family member. Obviously, the like button is inappropriate when a person is undergoing a crisis in life.
Zuckerberg said, “It’s important to give people more options than just ‘like’ to help express empathy and sympathy. Not every moment is a good moment.”
In an e-mail to USA Today, Andrea Forte a professor at Drexel University commented that people would probably user a dislike button to express some negative emotions such as frustration on ads popping up in their feeds. She added,
“I doubt it will cause them to start only disliking pictures of their friends’ babies, dogs, cats and cooking experiments. I suspect it will mainly be used to express mild disapproval, or to express solidarity when someone posts about a negative event like a death or a loss.”
Facebook CEO encourages civil interactions among users
According to Zuckerberg, Facebook is close to adding the dislike button on its platform. The social network giant is encouraging its 1.5 billion users to conduct civil interactions.
There is a possibility that Facebook would introduce a “sympathize” or other buttons that express solidarity, support or other positive emotions.
During a Q&A session in December, Zuckerberg said Facebook is thinking about adding a dislike button in response to a question on the matter. He emphasized that the social network giant was taking steps cautiously.
Today, Zuckerberg said making something, which is supposed to be simple, is surprisingly complicated. The Facebook CEO will be hosting another Q&A session with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi as guest. Zuckerberg and Modi will discuss “how communities can work together address social and economic challenges.