Facebook, Social Media, Technology

Facebook is Finally Working on a ‘Dislike’ Button

On Tuesday, CEO of the biggest social network, Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook Inc. is working on something new that will go beyond the infamous ‘Like’ button. During a wide-ranging Q&A session at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, Mr. Zuckerberg told the reporters that Facebook was working on something that was similar to a ‘dislike’ button. However, he added that it wasn’t going to be simple because they wish to restrict the use of the button for expressing sympathy when something upsetting or sad is posted by people. He said that the task of building the button was surprisingly complicated. Nonetheless, the company had gotten an idea and testing would begin soon.

For many years, the social network has been plagued with requests of a dislike button, but the company seemed unwilling to provide users with an easy way of criticizing statuses and posts on Facebook. The chief executive of the social networking giant said that people weren’t interesting in putting down others; they just want something that would enable them to express their support when an upsetting, disturbing or sad news is posted such as that of someone’s dying or the existing refugee crisis.

Mr. Zuckerberg elaborated that people wish to express their sympathy. When something sad is expressed, a lot of people aren’t comfortable with liking the post as it seems rude, but do wish to show that they understand. No additional comments were made on Mr. Zuckerberg’s remarks by a company’s spokeswoman. The infamous ‘like’ button of the social network had been conceived originally as the ‘awesome’ button in 2007, which was eventually rolled out in 2009 to users as an easy way to express your appreciation for a post. Since then, the thumbs-up icon and the button itself has become a universal symbol for the social network itself.

It has helped the 1.49 billion users of Facebook in expressing their affinity for a cause or brand or acknowledging the achievements and milestones of friends and family. It has also aided Facebook in developing its advertising model as a ‘like’ can convey a powerful message. Still, the button remains inappropriate for sad posts and Mr. Zuckerberg and his team are now working to find a solution to this issue. On another subject, the CEO said that as the company experiences growth, they are looking for ways to develop affordable housing near its headquarters as part of their responsibility as a member of the community.

He also said that he was more optimist about virtual reality and artificial intelligence as opposed to other technologists. He said that there are pros and cons of every technology, but he believes that human nature will use them for good. For instance, he said that graphic content could be assessed by Facebook through artificial intelligence, but this would require a lot of advancement in technology. His optimism about virtual reality was evident from Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR, manufacturer an immersive VR headset, which is working on a standalone video app focused on VR. 

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