For anyone who ever wanted Facebook to build a “Dislike” or “Hate” button into its News Feed, prepare to have your hopes dashed: In a public question-and-answer session, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that the ubiquitous “Like” button won’t be receiving an evil sibling anytime soon.
“Some people have asked for a Dislike button because they want to be able to say ‘That thing isn’t good,’” he said, according to a transcript compiled by TechCrunch. “And that’s not something that we think is good for the world.” Such a button, he added, wouldn’t be “socially very valuable or good for the community to help people share the important moments in their lives.”
That being said, Zuckerberg would like to introduce a bit more nuance into the user experience, particularly for when people post about sad or tragic events. The ability to sympathize or empathize without needing to leave a comment would be “powerful,” he said. “But 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 and demeaning the posts that people are putting out there.”
Whether or not a “Sympathy” button appears in the Facebook News Feed, the social network could grow in radical new ways over the next couple years. Last month, rumors percolated that the company is prepping a version of its service for businesses. According to the Financial Times, this “Facebook at Work” will exist as a separate entity from “traditional” Facebook, and will compete directly against similar offerings such as Salesforce and LinkedIn.
Much further down the road, Facebook could also use its Oculus Rift acquisition to expand social networking into the virtual realm, in which case there’d be no need for a “Like” or “Dislike” button—you could just tell someone’s digital avatar how you feel.
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