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Facebook’s “like” button will soon be getting a companion.
The social network is working on a “dislike” button and is very close to testing it with consumers, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced during a Q&A with users on Tuesday morning. “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,” he said during one of his frequent town hall discussions.
Zuckerberg didn’t give too many specifics about the new feature, and a Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment further, but it appears that the button will allow Facebook users to express several reactions to a friend’s post. “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,” Zuckerberg continued. “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.”
Users have long complained that the “like” button, with its image of a little blue thumbs up, is limiting. People use Facebook to share all types of information, including sad news like the loss of a loved one, and “liking” that post can feel insensitive.
“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,” Zuckerberg said, later adding, “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.”
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