One of Facebook’s most requested features may become a reality according to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who says his site is “thinking about” how to implement a dislike button.
Speaking at a Q&A session in California, he said it was one of the most requested features the social network receives from its users, BBC News reported.
He said the site is determined to find a way to ensure it did not become a way to demean people’s posts if a dislike button were to be added.
According to Facebook’s own figures, 4.5 billion “likes” are generated each day.
“One of things we’ve thought about for quite a while is what’s the right way to make it so that people can easily express a broader range of emotions,” Mark Zuckerberg told an audience at Facebook’s headquarters.
“A lot of times people share things on Facebook that are sad moments in their lives. Often people tell us that they don’t feel comfortable pressing ‘like’ because ‘like’ isn’t the appropriate sentiment.”
“Some people have asked for a dislike button because they want to say, ‘That thing isn’t good.’ That’s not something that we think is good for the world.”
“The thing that I think is very valuable is that there are more sentiments that people want to express.”
Facebook’s Like button has been criticized by many as being a method by which the social network collects data on its users’ browsing habits.
Facebook’s also come under fire due to a high volume of “fake likes” — when the popularity of a brand or piece of content is inflated artificially.
Facebook has moved to fight the trade of so-called “like farming” – businesses that, for a price, will provide a large number of likes quickly. This happens via automated robots, or by people paid a small sum for each time they click “like”.
Paul Coggins, chief executive of ad firm Adiudio expresses concern over the potential dislike button — warning that adding a particularly negative way of expressing sentiment would likely make advertisers nervous.
“They need to keep their advertisers happy. I would think it highly unlikely that they would come up with a button that says you can ‘dislike’,” Coggins added.
“I think they will extend the success of the like button, which has been huge. Rather than have a quick yes-no, which is a bit black and white, my guess is that they’ll probably look to do something with a bit more sentiment around it.”