Facebook Dislike Button: Will It Influence Users’ Sentiments And Advertisers ?

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You cannot sit at the top in any business if you fail to gauge the mood of your customers, feel their pulse, understand what they expect of you and then live up to those expectations. Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), with its out-of-the-box (well, not always!) thinking, has proved that it is indeed worthy of being called the king of all networking sites.

In his second question and answer session held at the Facebook headquarter in Menlo Park within 45 days, Zuckerberg again looked like the proverbial lamb being offered to a pack of hungry lions- the media and the users of his site- who were waiting to grill and roast him. The audience made sure that he was not spared and barraged him with a huge volley of questions- right from some of the functionalities at Facebook to parenting (spare the poor guy- he does not even have a child yet!). The first such session was held at the same place on Nov. 6.

Zuckerberg Thinking of a Dislike Button: Are They?

One of the most popular questions put to Zuckerberg last night was about the possibility of adding a ‘Dislike’ button to the site. Users have been demanding this button for years.

The Like button, for those who are not aware, was added to the site in 2009. A full five years after the site had been launched in 2004 and three years after it had been thrown open for all public in 2006.

But obviously, the networking site does not expect its users to LIKE everything. We, as users, should have the option to show our disapproval of someone’s nasty comment, silly photograph or outrightly stupid status update. If we are given the option to express our like, why should we be deprived of expressing our dissatisfaction?

The Like button, as all users of the website will agree, is a quick way of adding a positive sentiment or emotion against something shared by those on their friends’ lists.

Facebook itself mentioned generating more than 4.5 billion likes every day.

Though this like button has recently come under a lot of fire for being a tool using which Facebook collects data about its users’ browsing habits, we just cannot resist the urge to press this button when we ‘connect’ with anything on our Newsfeed.

When again asked about adding the same feature, this is what Zuckerberg had to say:

“Some people have asked for a dislike button before. They want to be able to say that a thing isn’t good and that’s not something that we think is good for the world.”

“So we’re not going to build that. I don’t think there needs to be a voting mechanism on Facebook whether posts are good or bad. I don’t think that’s socially very valuable or good for the community.”

But since he, as the owner of a company which oversees and shapes the manner in which people conduct or interact with each other over the web space, he is well aware that the community wants a way to express their negative feelings. In keeping with that, he went on to add that his company appreciates the fact that there are other sentiments that people in real life relate to. Rather than just LIKE-ing or ignoring something. There could be a sad or tragic event in someone’s life, for example. He also added that Facebook is thinking for ways people will be able to express themselves better and show emotions like surprise over the site.

Will Facebook ‘Dislike’ Affect Advertisers?

Advertisements over the popular site generate revenue for the company- which is why they can afford to keep it free for its users. Facebook earned a cool $3.20 billion over Q3 2014.

Adding any other method of expressing sentiment or expressing themselves (especially a sentiment like a DISLIKE button which can have the effect of breeding disdain and contempt) can seriously affect the company’s fortunes, and Zuckerberg seems to realize it too well!

Advertisers might not appreciate such methods of expressing displeasure, which is one of the main reasons Facebook has desisted from introducing it so far.

“Facebook’s big concern is revenue,” he told the BBC.

“They need to keep their advertisers happy. I would think it highly unlikely that they would come up with a button that says you can ‘dislike’,” said Paul Coggins, chief executive of ad firm Adludio, in conversation with the BBC.

Other social media watchers are predicting that they might instead come up with a button which allows users to express their moods or feelings instead of adding a Dislike button per se.

Our Take on it

For those who see the postponing of the possibility of a ‘Dislike’ button by Facebook as a ‘shrewd’ move, we see nothing wrong with their doing so; It goes without saying that Facebook is a business for Zuckerberg and like any other business owner, he would want to improve upon its profitability and enhance the user experience with each of its new moves and functions.

If adding Dislike could mean losing out on business and revenue and putting off the users of the site, why on earth would he want to introduce it? Any business has the right to put his own interests before anyone else’s, as long as it does not cause harm to anyone. And surely, Facebook is not causing you or me any harm by not adding such a feature. Are they?

We could not agree more with Zuckerberg when he says that such a feature will add to the negativity. It can only upset people and not help put a smile on anyone’s face.

For once Zuckerberg, we totally agree with you.


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