For years Facebook users have been asking the same question, “when will Facebook finally have a ‘dislike’ button?” Well Facebookers, you’re in luck! When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked about the “dislike” button at a Q&A on Tuesday, he said, “I think people have asked about the dislike button for many years and probably hundreds of people have asked about this. Today is a special day because today is the day where I actually get to say that we’re working on it and are very close to shipping a test of it.”
Zuckerberg said that the new button will unlikely be dubbed “dislike” but rather an option to “give people more options than just ‘like’ to help express empathy and sympathy,” Zuckerberg said. “Not every moment is a good moment.”
What does that mean in terms of PR and marketing?
PR Week mentioned that PR pros and marketers are “interested” in the idea. Some PR pros believe the button will have “useful potential” while others are worried that some companies may post less content to avoid the embarrassment of getting “disliked.”
I think having an option for Facebook users to express emotions other than “like” will help PR pros and marketers understand their audience. It will be a good gauge to see what is and is not working. Right now, PR pros and marketers can only base their analytics on “likes.” They could potentially see who is disliking their content and then discover why that particular campaign isn’t working. Incorporating the “dislike” feature or other emotional feature into their PR and marketing campaigns could well be useful.
In terms for the future, Richard Jones, co-founder and CEO of digital engagement platform EngageSciences, told PR Week: “Social networks are platforms for expression, and permitting users to only interact with brands in such a binary way impedes this. The next logical step would be to introduce an emoji-based system where opinion is respected and celebrated so users can express a true range of emotions.” Which reminded me of: Wired came up with “5 Ideas for a Smarter Facebook ‘Dislike’ Button.” What do you think the new “dislike” symbol should be?