At VavaVox, we believe in power of free expression. This past week, we were intrigued by Facebook’s announcement that it will soon be allowing its users to “thumbs down” or “unlike” content they sympathise with or disagree with.
An unlike button has been one of the most requested Facebook features since 2007, when the “Like” button was first introduced. In our view, the announcement is a sure sign that Zuckerberg and his team have been listening to their audience.
What function will the button serve?
Zuckerberg is coy about exactly what the button will be called, but he hints that it won’t only be for content we don’t like. ”What [we] really want is the ability to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment,” Zuckerberg was quoted as saying.
The option to ‘unlike’ a status will be useful. The ‘Like’ button already serves a myriad uses and has become a powerful tool for staying in contact with friends, but it’s severely limiting. A status about the death of a family member, for instance, hardly deserves a “Like’, and yet ‘Liking’ a post something remains the best way of acknowledging a status without actually commenting on it.
Is there a downside?
Some people fear that a ‘thumbs down’ button will contribute to cyber bullying and online ridicule and there is the undeniable reality that Facebook will become a popularity contest for friends online.
For businesses attempting to gauge customer sentiment, more information is always a good thing, and having access to users who are “downvoting” something is valuable.
For friends, it’ll help give a more nuanced view of statuses and improve peer-to-peer communication on the platform.
Overall, the Facebook announcement is proof that big businesses value customer feedback. In an effort to provide their customers the most comprehensive user package, Facebook is introducing a feature they’ve long kept quiet about.
At VavaVox, we think this reaffirms what we’ve always held true: the consumer holds real power, and can affect the changes they want to see.
Facebook is yet to announce when the new button will be added to the platform. In the meantime, help your friends connect with great businesses by recommending a business on our platform.