What do you do when you want to show someone your compassion or your respect? And what to do when someone posts something on Facebook, regarding the circumstances in Syria, for example? Do you like the post? This is a bit ambiguous. It may not be very appropriate to like a sad post. Facebook has come up with a solution to this.
In September, Facebook announced that they are working on a button, which you can use to express sympathy. People immediately thought that their prayers had been heard and that the ‘dislike’-button was finally coming. There has been mixed reactions to this news. People (and the Facebook team) were afraid that it could be used to express negativity or to put down other users: cyber bullying, basically (Kokalitcheva, 2015).
Last week, Facebook started testing the ‘Reactions’ in Ireland and Spain. This is a new addition to the like-button with many ways to show your feelings. You can do this using a few emojis: “like, love, haha, yay, wow, sad and anger”.
This is what Mark Zuckerberg had to say about this new feature: “For many years, people have asked us to add a “dislike” button. Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy. These are important moments where you need the power to share more than ever, and a Like might not be the best way to express yourself” (Zuckerberg, 2015).
The reactions of Facebook users are mixed. Some really love the new idea, others think it’s useless or they prefer a ‘dislike’-button. Here are some of the positive reactions on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook post where he announces the testing of the ‘Reactions’ feature:
“Brilliant Mark. No one wants to be disliked and displeased on social network so dislike button idea was never going to work. This is best!”
“Thank you for not making the real kind of dislike button”
“Great idea! I always feel strange to see “likes” on all sad news or updates”
But, of course, there are also people who don’t like the new feature:
“Why we need a dislike button? If you can just simply not press the like button”
“We want the dislike button, not this..”
So, what do you think? Should Facebook implement the ‘Reactions’?
- Dutchcowboys (2015) Reactions: het nieuwe ‘liken’ op Facebook, http://www.dutchcowboys.nl/socialmedia/reactions-het-nieuwe-liken-op-facebook
- M. Zuckerberg (2015) https://www.facebook.com/zuck/videos/10102412343501081/
- K. Kokalitcheva (2015) Facebook is finally making a ‘Dislike’ button, http://fortune.com/2015/09/15/facebook-dislike-button/