Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last month that the social network was working on a “dislike” button of sorts, a feature that its user base has requested for years. The goal, Zuckerberg said, was not to encourage negative feedback, but to give Facebook users an “empathetic” alternative to the “like” button. “Not every moment is a good moment,” he said at the time. “If you share something that’s sad like a refugee crisis that touches you or a family member passes away, it may not be comfortable to like that post… I do think it’s important to give people more options than liking it.”
Today, Facebook revealed what this empathetic option will look like: The social network is testing a “reactions” feature, which will give users the option of responding to posts with six different emojis, in addition to the thumbs-up associated with the “like” button.
This is likely the closest Facebook will hew to a straightforward “dislike” button. And if reaction buttons sound familiar, it’s because the professional chat app Slack has featured emoji reactions since July. The Slack reactions allow users to respond to a message by pinning it with an emoji.
On Slack, emoji reactions serve as a way to declutter chat rooms; team members can use emoji reactions to acknowledge a request ( is a good option), or to respond to a GIF with instead of writing “haha” in a separate post. If chatters add different reactions to the same message, the emojis appear in a neat horizontal row instead of a vertical wall of separate messages. This feature gives users the ability to express a wide range of emotions in a concise, albeit impersonal, way, which is precisely what Facebook was trying to accomplish when it set out to tweak the “like” button.
Facebook pointedly isn’t including the thumbs-down emoji as an option.
[via The Verge]