'Dislike' button coming to Facebook - or is it?

by Adam Hayes on 16 September 2015

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The web has been abuzz since yesterday's announcement by Facebook supremo Mark Zuckerberg that a 'dislike' button could be on its way to the social network

Ever since the 'Like' button was added in 2009 - of course, becoming one of the site's most iconic features - users have clamoured for a 'less positive' alternative.

For years, Facebook has flatly refused to incorporate a 'dislike' button, and the general consensus has been that it would be detrimental to user experience. I mean, they have a point; who really wants their pictures or statuses to be 'disliked?' Talk about soul-crushing...

But, yesterday, Zuckerberg finally relented - or did he?

Despite the various news outlets queuing up to announce the birth of 'dislike,' it seems from the Facebook CEO's address that his position remains fundamentally unchanged.  

"You know, it took us a while to get here," he said.

"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."

So what is being proposed? It seems that what's on offer may actually be much more technically complex than a simple 'Like' or 'Dislike' option...

The sole motivation behind this move is to give users an option where 'Like' really isn't appropriate - where they're responding to a tragic news story or status update, for example.

As Zuckerberg puts it, "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 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."

That's why TechCrunch are actually calling it the 'Sorry' button and suggest that the option will actually only appear when Facebook's algorithm specifically detects this kind of post.

So, yes, a 'Dislike' function may be coming - but not in the sense that many people may think it is. And, in all likelihood, it won't actually be called 'Dislike' but something else whether it's 'Sorry,' 'Empathy' or some other alternative.

We reckon this is an interesting development in Facebook functionality - but not quite the radical departure it's being depicted as by most news outlets...watch this space!

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Wyzowl Content

Adam Hayes

Written by Adam Hayes

Hey - I'm Adam, Content Manager here at Wyzowl. I'm lucky enough to write words and tell stories for a living. I work with a weird and wonderful bunch of people who share my passion for digital marketing, brand storytelling and, of course, Mario Kart.