Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook is to add a 'dislike' button to the social channel.
For years Zuckerberg has dismissed users' calls for a 'dislike' button that could result in a Reddit style voting system. But, yesterday in a Q&A session at the Facebook HQ in California, it was revealed that the social channel is to begin testing the button soon.
The official use for the 'dislike' button isn't to be cruel and hate on each other, it's a tool to show empathy. It has also been confirmed that the button will not be labelled as a 'dislike' button until its launch - that is what the masses are referring to it as. We've all seen posts that announce tragedy, whether it be nation hitting disaster or a friend's loved one passing away, but how are we meant to respond to these? We can't 'like' them, can we? The new button is exactly what is needed in this occasion, the button is to show empathy rather than negativity, what will be interesting is how this will be managed online.
Do you think the button will be used in the 'official' manner? Could the button promote negativity and heckling? How will it affect businesses? We asked some Facebook fans at Strawberry HQ how they see the button working and how they think it could transform the social platform….
James Greenwood, Digital Director:
"I don't like the idea. I don't even really understand why there is a 'thumbs down' on YouTube either. What happened to 'if you've nothing nice to say, say nothing'? I'm sure they'll claim it's for bad news stories because there is a conflict between the word 'like' and bad news, but we all know how it'll be really used..."
Liam Quinn, Developer:
"I'm looking forward to giving the new unlike button some real use, it's been a long time coming and a treat for the more sarcastic individuals among us. I think it's quickly going to affect the type of posts we see on Facebook, for fear of negative feedback."
Will Kirk, Graduate Designer @StrawberryToo:
"I barely use Facebook so I can't see it affecting me at all. The only reason why I don't think it's a good idea is because it's open to exploitation, both personally and commercially. With the fact social media is at the forefront for bullying I can only see this dislike button making things much worse. Youtube have the same problem but it is much less personal as you can be a faceless profile.
As for clients and companies it can be a great way of monitoring what people think of posts. Rather than not liking the post and skipping it you can quickly show your opinion. However, if there is huge hate for a company (Android vs Apple fanboys) it can affect the statistics with a planned surge of dislikes."
Matt Barratt, Designer:
"I guess this was only a matter of time, to be fair I'm surprised it's taken so long which makes me think there must have been some underlying reason/nervousness in implementing the dislike button.
I guess it's good for the general user in that you can easily express your opinion on something that requires no effort at all. However I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing for business as companies will look to avoid any negative feedback, on the other hand the more users interact the greater the reach (bad publicity is still publicity, right?) and in turn might make businesses focus more on good content.
There is a danger of the dislike button becoming an 'anti like' button meaning an upturn in shocking or provocative posts designed to clearly express an agenda or opinion onto a greater audience. If this is the case I for one will no longer be a user."