Buttons speak louder than words

Facebook will soon add a “dislike” button allowing users to express empathy, rather than negativity, substantiating its goal of “connecting the world.” As the social network increasingly positions itself as a destination for news and thought-provoking conversations, the binary “like” button with its inferred positivity grows ever more restrictive.

Our take

The development could increase the level of engagement with posts, and therefore the number of ads seen, albeit the ease of a click supplants user commentary, a core qualitative engagement metric. Conversely it could be disconcerting to marketers, preferring their messages to be surrounded by affirmative sentiments. The spectre of potential negative feedback means companies and users would have to radically shift the strategy of posts, or potentially choose to cut engagement. As an ad-funded business, it isn’t in Facebook’s interest to allow users to condemn its paying customers; as such we can expect the birth of the new button to carry an extremely considered title.

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