After years of speculation and member requests, Facebook is finally working on a Dislike button.
At a town hall meeting Tuesday held at its company headquarters, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social network will add a dislike button as a companion to the iconic ‘like’ button.
Zuckerberg said the move would allow users to express emotion in a more realistic way, rather than just having one choice.
“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 is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it,” Zuckerberg said, according to a CNBC report.
Zuckerberg said the company held off on a Dislike button to avoid it becoming a Reddit-style system that encouraged upvoting and downvoting, according to reports Business Insider.
“What they really want is the ability to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment,” Zuckerberg said.
A dislike button used across the board on Facebook would have a dramatic effect on the service, so much so that it’s hard to imagine that it would be available universally. It would be a large departure from positive persona Facebook has adopted with features like Moments, which serves up users an old picture on their timeline.
With disliking, companies and users would have to radically shift the strategy of what is posted on Facebook. Considering the fact that Facebook is by far the largest driver of traffic to news publications, this feature has the potential to be a Big Deal.
Speaking at a similar town hall Q&A last December, Zuckerberg said that a dislike button is a tricky proposition. “We need to figure out the right way to do it so it ends up being a force for good, not a force for bad.”
“Everyone feels like they can just push the Like button, and that’s an important way to sympathize or empathize with someone,” Zuckerberg said “But there are times when you may want the simplicity of a one-click response but a “like” doesn’t feel appropriate.”
Especially in light of the recent brouhaha at Reddit, a dislike button would be a challenge for Facebook to roll out.
Zuckerberg added the feature will launch soon.