‘Bread and circuses’ (from Latin: ‘panem et circenses’) or give the people what they want. That’s exactly what Mark Zuckerberg has done again. During a recent Q&A, Facebook’s CEO announced that he is considering the introduction of a ‘dislike’ button to the social media giant.
Zuckerberg clarified that Facebook are not just going to build a literal ‘dislike’ button as they want to avoid turning Facebook into a forum where people vote up or down on other people’s posts. Sites like YouTube, Reddit and Pandora offer a thumbs-up and thumbs-down feature that lets you express a simple opinion with the click of a button.
“What people really want is to express empathy […] I do think it’s important to give people more options than just like as a quick way to emote and share what you’re feeling on a post […] We have an idea that we are going to be ready to test soon that, depending on how it goes, we should be able to roll it out more broadly […] We finally heard you,” explained Zuckerberg.
There’s been an outsized response to the CEO’s announcement, as there are enormous financial implications for brands. How Facebook will prevent businesses from trolls, cyberbullying and boycotts is still unknown.
This feature will take content into consideration to a higher degree and will enable measurement of success, allowing more traction into the (in)famous algorithm to hit more newsfeeds.
Until the button — if it is even a button — is launched, it is too soon to tell what its immediate repercussions will be, but one thing is certain: it will not only change the way users interact, but most importantly, how brands do business on social media.
This article was written by Sara Bosch, freelance writer and blogger for Popdot Media.