After a decade-long wait, many Facebook users’ social media dreams are finally coming true.
In a Q&A session live-streamed to Mark Zuckerberg’s own Facebook page, he announced that the company will, at long last, release a “dislike” button.
Over the years, Facebook has evolved and adapted to meet user demands (and learn more about us and sell ads, but that’s another story) and create a better user experience. The one obvious upgrade Facebook has long refused to make is that of the dislike button.
In the past, Zuckerberg claimed that Facebook didn’t want to “encourage negativity” between users. This sentiment begs the question, “Has Zuck ever actually used Facebook?”
Regardless, it appears that Facebook has finally changed its mind on the dislike button, though it’s still unclear which form that button will take.
“I think people have asked about the dislike button for many years,” said Zuckerberg. “Today is a special day because today is the day I can say we’re working on it and shipping it.”
Of course, it makes sense for the social media site to adopt some kind of dislike button. People don’t share only positive status updates. If a Facebook friend posts that they’ve lost their job, a family member or friend has died, or a relationship has ended, “liking” that status feels…inappropriate. A dislike button would provide a very easy way to express empathy or support in these situations.
But what does this mean for businesses?
Until now, the only way for Facebook users to express a negative feeling towards a brand’s Facebook post was with a comment. Most people who see a post they don’t like or agree with may not bother saying so if they have to write a comment. They’ll just scroll on past.
Remove the barrier (slight as it may be) of creating and posting a comment and it’s likely that brands will receive more negative feedback on Facebook. Fans (or trolls) who don’t like a status update, post, or product picture will now have an even easier way of letting brands know.
While this could potentially intimidate marketers at first, there’s definitely valuable data to be gathered here. It’s important to know what your fans and customers like, but their dislikes can provide insights as well.
So, what do you think about the announcement? Like, or dislike?
Photo via Flickr