To Like or not to Like? That is the question that many a Facebook user (that is, most of us) has faced since the Like button was introduced in February 2009.
For example, we may have wanted to acknowledge a sweet or hopeful sentiment on a post about the death of a loved one or loss of a job, or simply let a friend know we are thinking of them during a hard time, but felt wrong ‘liking’ the news.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier this month that a Dislike button is finally on its way and will soon be ready for user testing. He says it will be a tool people can use to express empathy, and thus could put an end to the aforementioned dilemma.
People have been wondering whether there would ever be a Dislike button feature since Like was introduced.
On first thought, it makes sense – not everything in life is positive and users might like a way to acknowledge negative news, or something they don’t agree with, with the same speed and ease.
However, all it takes is thinking about how you might feel to get a Dislike on a post sharing good news or a picture to see why it might not be a good idea, no matter how slight the possibility. There is also the fear it could be a tool of bullying with younger users or that it could start even more debates among people who like to make their opinions known on social media (we all have those friends!).
There is also the question of how Dislike will be incorporated into pages and posts by brands and paid advertising, which remains to be seen.
Will Facebook’s introduction of a Dislike button serve the purpose Zuckerberg envisions? Not knowing what to say to someone experiencing a loss or other difficult time is a dilemma that far predates social media, but as with many things, Facebook could make this communication easier and bring people together.
However, the concerns that had many thinking that Dislike would never be implemented are valid and it will be interesting to see what happens!
What are your opinions about the Dislike button? Would you use it? Share your thoughts and tweet us @harveyandhugo