It took me way too long to realize why Facebook wouldn’t simply just add a “Dislike” button that has, for years, been a demand of practically everyone on Facebook, from your cousin’s ex-girlfriend who you constantly debate unfriending to that long-lost childhood friend who turned out surprisingly racist. But it’s simple, really. It comes down to the epiphany that making snarkiness even easier than typing a misspelled YouTube comment may not be the best idea. But people have persisted, ultimately making the introduction of a Dislike button more when than if. So Facebook is finally doing something about it, but they’re doing it on their terms.
Let me introduce you to Facebook’s “Reactions.”
It’s what Facebook is currently testing out overseas. Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox explained the thought process behind Reactions in a Facebook post.
As you can see, it’s not a “dislike” button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly. We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun. Starting today Ireland and Spain can start loving, wow-ing, or expressing sympathy to posts on Facebook by hovering or long-pressing the Like button wherever they see it. We’ll use the feedback from this to improve the feature and hope to roll it out to everyone soon.
Now, certainly everyone wasn’t clamoring for a Dislike button in order to shame your successful relationship or not-so-subtly dig at you for recklessly posting pictures of your children. However, given that this is the Internet, that’s definitely in the cards.
People want a Dislike button in order to show they support you when your boss pulls a bogus last-minute “work this weekend” move or when the house you were looking to call home doesn’t end up yours.
Facebook has essentially become a “Greatest Hits” for all of us. We post what matters most to us. We’re long past what Facebook originally was. Well, we are for the most part. Some of us still have people in our feed informing the entire world they’re bored or “soooo huuungovrrrr.”
So we can finally stop the call for a simple Dislike button, and it’s better. This is the way to curb the bunk and enable online empathy, making emotional support as easy as a single click.