It appears the long awaited “Dislike” button may soon be a real thing on Facebook. According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the company is finally ready to test out the new feature.
Details are light at the moment, but Zuckerberg has confirmed that Facebook will begin to roll out tests on it. In a question and answer session, Zuckerberg said:
People have asked about the ‘dislike’ button for many years, and probably hundreds of people have asked about this, and today is a special day because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it.
As it turns out, implementing such a feature is not as easy as the ‘Like’ button – for years Facebook refused requests for a ‘Dislike’ button as it may open up an avenue for abuse or harassment. It would of course also hurt its core business as an ad platform – what happens when people begin disliking sponsored posts that appear on their timelines? On top of that, Zuckerberg stated that he also does not want “to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts” – a veiled reference to the jungle that is Reddit.
Facebook’s goal for the ‘Dislike’ button is more to “express empathy”: “if you are sharing something that is sad…then it may not feel comfortable to ‘like’ that post,” he said, referring to scenarios that have become all too familiar for most of us.
For now, though, the actual roll-out for this feature is likely a long way to go; the actual mechanics of this ‘Dislike’ button will only be known once Facebook begins to roll out its tests on a small portion of its users.