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The Impending Facebook 'Dislike' Button Is Not What You Think At All

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | October 8, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | October 8, 2015 |

A few weeks ago, Facebook’s creator Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media site would be adding a “dislike” button to cover all those instances in which you want to express a feeling toward a post but a “like” wouldn’t feel appropriate (for instance, if someone announced a divorce or a death in the family) and you didn’t feel like actually writing out a message (this is social media, after all).

Turns out, the “dislike” button isn’t that, at all. In fact, when it rolls out in the United States, pressing the like button will simply give you the option of several other emojis, including heart, a sad face, an angry face, or a stunned face.

Here’s how it works:

Today we’re launching a pilot test of Reactions — a more expressive Like button. 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.

Posted by Chris Cox on Thursday, October 8, 2015

This is better. I think. Because the idea of a dislike button made me very nervous. Disqus used to allow downvotes in our commenting system, and that was a disaster, because people get their feelings hurt over even the slightest of slights (that the downvotes could be offered anonymously in the beginning made it even worse). There was a lot of, “Who the f**k downvoted me?”

I could also envision a dislike button triggering emotional spirals from some who spend too much time on social networks and place too much value in the opinions of those on Facebook.

The new features will roll out in Ireland and Spain today, and after testing there, should roll out in the United States relatively soon.

Now, if they could just come up with a Happy Birthday emoji, I might end my year-long sabbatical on wishing Happy Birthday to people on Facebook (a sabbatical that got awkward on my wife’s birthday recently. Sorry, Mrs. Pajiba-hyphenate: NO EXCEPTIONS).

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.