Today, my Facebook newsfeed has been all about the new ‘dislike’ function on Facebook with sites such as Mashable, IFLScience, and TechCrunch chiming in. Well, before we get all worked up – as has been the tendency – I think it’s important to look at what Mr. Zuckerberg actually said:
“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,” he said. “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.”
Yes, the word ‘dislike’ was used, but from my point of view it seems more likely that we won’t get a ‘dislike’ function, but a feature that allows us to express empathy for others; something similar to a ‘sorry’ button as TechCrunch reports. This is of course as speculative as what others have claimed, but it seems to fit better with what Zuckerberg says above.
Moreover, in the video above it is clearly said that the goal isn’t to turn Facebook into a place where people vote posts up or down:
“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.”
For businesses, this probably means that Facebook users won’t get the option of down voting content into oblivion either. This would make good sense – which business would want to advertise on a platform where their posts could receive more ‘dislikes’ than ‘likes’? And at the end of the day, Facebook needs to offer an attractive service to businesses to make money.
Not something that could possibly alienate marketers.