Today, Facebook’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted that the company would be releasing a “Dislike” button for its popular social networking platform. This is something that users have been clamoring for since the original Like button made its debut in 2007. However, it probably won’t work in the way you’re thinking.
During a public Q&A session today, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the iconic Like button will soon have some company, with the option to “dislike” Facebook posts all but confirmed.
“People have asked about the ‘dislike’ button for many years, and probably hundreds of people have asked about this,” Zuckerberg said. “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.”
So does this mean you’ll soon be able to register your disgust at ignorant political rants, pointless posts and “sexy” duck-face selfies? Not quite. While Facebook is using “Dislike” to describe the incoming button its purpose will be more complex than that.
According to Zuckerberg, the company has no interest in the concept of “downvoting” unpopular posts — it’s not about expressing negativity towards other people’s status updates. Instead, the button will simply provide a different way to be positive.
“What [Facebook users] really want is an ability to express empathy,” Zuckerberg explained at the event. “If you’re expressing something sad… it may not feel comfortable to ‘like’ that post, but your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand.”
This actually makes a lot of sense. If you’re a Facebook user, you’ve almost certainly come across gloomy statuses before — from tragic announcements to recounting a crappy day at work. In these situations, clicking “like” looks weird, but ignoring the post doesn’t feel right either. Instead of a down-turned thumb, our money’s on a “sad face” emoji.
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