It seems Facebook has finally come up with a solution to the much-anticipated ‘Dislike’ button. As the company announced today that it’s testing ‘Reactions’, a set of six new emojis that users can choose if they don’t feel right hitting the ‘Like’ button.
“As you can see, it’s not a ‘dislike’ button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly. We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun,” Chris Cox, chief product officer at Facebook, wrote in a post.
The beta test starts today in Ireland and Spain, and the feature works by long-press or hovering over the ‘Like’ button which presents users with a set of six emojis which include ‘yay’, ‘wow’, express love, laughter, sadness and anger. Hence, ‘Reactions’ is essentially an extension of the existing Like button, giving users more choices to express what they feel about a particular post.
Each ‘Reaction’ also comes with its own equivalent emoji, which can be seen alongside the number of ‘Likes’ of a particular post. Users will be allowed to add only one reaction to a particular post. For example, users can’t ‘Like’ and ‘anger’ the same post.
As already mentioned, the new feature is undergoing pilot testing in Ireland and Spain. As to when it’ll be actually available to all users, is still quite a mystery. It’ll most likely depend on the feedback it receives from the initial test.
“We’ll use the feedback from this to improve the feature and hope to roll it out to everyone soon,” added Cox.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg triggered some excitement last month at a town hall meeting when he announced the company’s plans to introduce a ‘Dislike’ button or something similar. Though, he made it rather clear that the company never wanted to create a standalone ‘Dislike’ feature as it could convey too much negativity on the platform.
“We need to figure out the right way to do it so it ends up being a force for good, not a force for bad,” said Zuckerberg in a Q&A last December.
He said that the company wants to give its users more ways to empathize. For instance, when a family member or friend passes away in which case “it might not feel comfortable to Like that post”, and allow users convey their empathy or concern towards the affected person or event.