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Facebook to test ‘dislike’ button

Screen Shot 2017 03 07 at 07.28.16

Facebook to test ‘dislike’ button

Users of the world’s largest social media network, Facebook, have long been demanding a ‘dislike’ button be added to the platform to express emotions other than ‘like’. The company appears to have listened and is set to test a variation of the button on its Messenger app.

Despite the huge demand for the button, the company has always been reluctant to provide users with this feature as it believes such a button could provide users with a method to demean other people’s posts on the site.

In an attempt to meet users halfway, it has decided to trial a ‘thumbs down’ button on its standalone messaging service, Messenger, and gives those included in the trial the opportunity to respond to certain messages with a different set of reactions.

Messenger users are set to be able to hover over a message they receive and respond to it with a different reaction emoji other than ‘like’, which is represented by the thumbs up emoji. These reactions will include love, wow, sad, angry, lol and now, thumbs down.

These reactions will also be visible to everyone in the conversation thread if used within a group chat, and all users will be able to see the full range of emojis used by other people who responded to the message.

Facebook told numerous news outlets that the rapid emoji responses are currently only being trialled amongst a relatively small number of users, so they won’t be showing up for everyone just yet. It explained that it is always looking and testing new methods to make the app more interesting and engaging for its users.

This is not the first time that Facebook has introduced emoji reactions, as last year it introduced a similar set of reactions to its main platform, which at the time was the first attempt at a major revamp of the way people respond to their friends’ posts.

When this was introduced, a number of users expressed their disappointment that there was a lack of a ‘dislike’ button or reaction and although this new test may seem like a step in the right direction for fans of the thumbs down emoji, it is still not clear as whether it will be added to the main Facebook platform anytime soon.

Company founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg also revealed that in the first year of having the different reactions, more than 300 billion of them had been used. The love heart reaction was the most popular, ranking higher than the sad and angry options, which may ease the company’s fears of the button demeaning other users.

Alan Littler

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