HOUSTON: After years of speculation and member requests, Facebook is finally working on a 'dislike' button that would not "downvote" posts but instead let users express other emotions, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said.
However, it's probably not exactly what subscribers think.
Zuckerberg said the feature will be coming soon during a town hall meeting at the company's California headquarters.
However, he also said it wouldn't be a way for users to "downvote" posts and instead would let users express other emotions besides the inferred positivity of the Like button.
"People have asked about the 'dislike' button for many years, and probably hundreds of people have asked about this, and today is a special day because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it," Zuckerberg said, according to a media report.
Zuckerberg added that the company has held off on a Dislike button to avoid becoming a Reddit-style system that encouraged upvoting and downvoting, according to reports.
"What they really want is the ability to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment," he said.
Regardless of its intent, a Dislike button used across the board on Facebook would have a dramatic effect on the service, so in all likelihood, "disliking" something will be one of many Like alternatives, and users will probably have a say over which ones will happen.
It would be a large departure from positive persona Facebook has adopted with features like Moments, which serves up old, happy memories in a user's timeline.
Considering Facebook is by far the largest driver of traffic to news publications, this feature has the potential to be a big deal.
When a Dislike button becomes a reality, companies and users would have to radically shift the strategy of what they post.