Finally, Facebook will let us express something other than a Like, and as we have all seen and heard across every media portal possible to man-kind, Facebook is currently testing a 'dislike' button which should be introduced shortly...
Some are giving it a 'thumbs up, while others a 'thumbs down' (sorry, I couldn't resist), while some are completely against it, or, like me - simply following the global hype.
We have all had that moment when a friend has once again checked themselves into gym for the umpteenth time, or heard the death of a friend's poodle, or perhaps a relative broke a leg while skiing in the Alps, a younger nephew who failed his drivers, or a work colleague recently ended a relationship. It's a moment when we have nothing to resort to but a 'like' when in actual fact, it's the opposite. But, the 'empathy button', according to Zuckerberg, will not be a mechanism which people can "down vote" others' posts. Instead, it will be for times when clicking "like" on "sad" posts felt insensitive.
I had a laugh at a recent article posted by a popular website called 'The Verge', which is currently running a poll to vote for what the new button should be called. But, in all fairness, they have a point, what should we call the new 'dislike button' to avoid all forms of negativity from emerging?
Here are some funny suggestions from Verge:
"I'm sorry" button
"In a cosmic sense, this isn't such a big deal" button
"I find you attractive, but have nothing of substance to say" button
"Humble brag" button
"Cool story bro" button
"Please stop changing your profile picture" button
"Whoa this is racist" button
"Your politics are reprehensible" button
"Uninvited to thanksgiving" button
Hopefully the new disagree / empathy button will not be regularly misused as a means of trolling. Here are a few interesting reader comments taken from BBC online:
"I hope the purpose of this is made clear to users".
"Disliking the post is very different from empathising with the post".
"The "dislike" button is a real can of worms. It could open up a whole new sphere for trolls.
"Cynically you could feel that Facebook has used it to try and get a better understanding on what advertising works for specific people on the site"
Names aside, what will a Dislike button do to Facebook? Yes, it could evidently become a sadder place, but the bigger picture is about providing stories we care about that will keep us coming back for more, right?
"Dislike" could be a way Facebook moves from being a lunch-break distraction to a place where we can source and find interesting and important news stories. And that causes us to spend more time on Facebook, which (sigh), means more ads, which then means (believe it or not) more dosh for Zuckerberg and his shareholders.
What do you think Facebook should name their new 'dislike' button?