Facebook’s Dislike Button: It’s Complicated

Friday, 04 September 2015 00:00
Facebook’s Dislike Button: It’s Complicated

DislikeButtonBlog 625x515Mark Zuckerberg spoke to a room full of people during a Q&A at Facebook Headquarters where the topic of the “Dislike Button” came up again.

Instead of beating around the bush, he actually said he was excited to give us some good news! Zuckerberg says, “Today is a special day because today is the day where I actually get to say that we’re working on it.” This statement set the Internet ablaze when it was revealed Tuesday because people had been asking about this for years. You may be thinking, ‘wow, this could be cool,’ and it will be neat for certain things but it may also be bad for other things. Some potential things it could work for would be posts about a sad current event or news about a family member passing away. He doesn’t want to enable Facebook to become a forum where users are just voting content up or down. We see some issues with the dislike button as well, so let us explain.

As a digital marketing agency our concern lies in the Facebook pages of our clients and other businesses. We feel that it has the potential to create a negative atmosphere on our various client’s pages. It could even turn Facebook into a site like Yelp, which can’t be their goal because they already have the ability for people to review businesses on Facebook. Zuckerberg said that users have identified wanting to show empathy rather than dislike businesses but we’re not so sure.

Secondly, what will a dislike button do to the Facebook algorithm? As a digital marketer we have to keep up-to-date on the latest changes to the algorithms from Facebook so we can optimize our client’s posts. When you like posts from a certain page you will be more likely to be shown posts from that page again. So would the opposite thing happen if someone hit a dislike button? Would the algorithm automatically make that user see less posts from that company page where they made their dislike? It just doesn’t seem like a viable way to evaluate a dislike click because that click could be disliking the death of someones family member which is legitimately sad but doesn’t mean that person doesn’t want to stop seeing posts from that user.

There seem to be many potential road blocks to launching the dislike button and Zuckerberg acknowledged that. He stated that they were working on it and would ship it out to a certain number of “beta-testers” if you will. Only if it performs well with them will he make the decision to open it up to everyone. So, this idea may never make it to fruition, which is why we titled our post as “It’s Complicated.” We will see what happens with the dislike button in the weeks and months to come!

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