Mark Zuckerberg has announced the team at Facebook is working on a ‘dislike’ button for the social media platform.
During a Town Hall Q&A session at Facebook’s headquarters in California, the Facebook founder unveiled what everyone has been squealing with anticipation about.
“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’s the day where I actually get to say that we’re working on it and we’re very close to shipping a test of it,” said Zuckerberg.
While much of the world has been waiting for the announcement, it comes as somewhat of a surprise, given that nine months ago Zuckerberg squashed the idea, believing it could turn the platform into a voting system.
However he addressed these concerns during the Q&A session, saying how it took the team a while to come to the decision to build a ‘dislike’ button.
“It took us a while to get here because 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 was important to you during your day and have someone down vote it – that isn’t what we’re here to build in the world.
“But over the years of people asking for this, what we kind of have come to understand is that people aren’t looking for an ability to down vote other people’s posts, what they really want is to be able to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment and if you are sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events, like the refugees crisis that touches you or if a family member passed away, then it may not feel comfortable to like that post. But your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand and that they relate to you, so I do think it’s important to give people more options than just like as a quick way to emote and share what they’re feeling on a post.
“We’ve been working on this – it’s surprisingly complicated for an interaction that you want to make that simple but we have an idea that we think we’re going to be ready to test soon, and depending on how that does, we’ll roll it out more broadly.”