Facebook’s Newest Addition: The Dislike Button

It’s the moment Internet trolls have all been waiting for: Facebook introduces a ‘dislike’ or ‘thumbs down’ button to its post features! Finally, after years of speculation, requests, and fervor about when Mark Zuckerberg would listen to the desires of the people, the developers over at Facebook formally announced the addition of a dislike button during a recent Q&A session at their headquarters. What will this mean for you as a business? Here are the top five things you should know about the dislike button on Facebook.

  1. Photo: @shinydiscoyoga

    The majority approves it. This is a concept that has been bounced around for years, but up until now, was never given the green light. Zuckerberg was wary to introduce this feature, as he was concerned it would cause bullying behavior. However, after many users noted that ‘liking’ a post about a natural disaster or death was unsatisfactory, engineers at Facebook set to work on an alternative.

  1. Facebook is trying to avoid the black and white, positive versus negative voting aspects of other sites, such as Reddit. They are particularly focused on making sure that this feature does not discourage people from posting and sharing out of fear and/or retribution.
  1. The button will likely not be called ‘dislike.’ Instead, it will be a button (or buttons) to show sympathy and empathy, not disapproval. Furthermore, it has been speculated that a ‘Support’ or ‘Help’ feature could be added as well, as a means of drumming up emotional or financial assistance from those in your network.
  1. It is unlikely that people will begin disliking things just for the sake of spreading negativity. After all, the majority of content that passes through your newsfeed is things like pictures of your friend’s baby, funny videos, or a recipe or two.
  1. The ability to express a range of emotions is what makes human interaction so important, which is why a dislike button will be successful on Facebook. Effective social interactions, especially as a business, require us to be authentic. This means that while we always err on the side of positivity with our content, the ability for fans to express themselves in a multi-dimensional way (not solely through the absence of a like) is very empowering.

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