Earlier this year, during a Q&A session at Facebook’s headquarters, superstar CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared that Facebook is currently working on a new feature for their social network: adding a “dislike” button.”
The 1.5 monthly active users asked for a long time for a dislike button. Seeing the magnitude of the situation, Zuckerberg and company decided to start taking the fan demands seriously and finally announced in September that they are working on a “dislike” button.
However, Facebook officials cleared the air regarding the situation and informed interviewers that the button will not exactly be a “dislike” button, but rather an all-encompassing button that will allow users to show their empathy towards the messages that are conveyed by other users in their posts.
Facebook has finally confirmed that the button will have six emoji reactions, through which users can express a wider range of emotions than a thumbs up button can. Now users can express their empathy for bad news such as a breakup, a natural disaster or a loss, without appearing to diss them.
One would say it is more than likely for trolls to start abusing these emoticons and use them in negative ways across the social network. This is not the case, Facebook states that they designed the six buttons in a way that anger cannot be mistaken for hate, and so on.
Chris Cox, chief product officer of Facebok, writes in a posts “As you can see, it’s not a dislike button.” Facebook officials are proud that they are trying to keep their social network less corruptible than others, and they believe that the new empathy button will allow users to express themselves more freely than ever before.
The company says that they have studies which emotions are most commonly expressed through text and ascii smiley across Facebook posts and comments, and designed the six emoji that will allow users to express them easier than ever before.
The six emoticons are: love, laugh, excitement, amazement, sadness and anger. They can be used everywhere, from posts from your friends to the comment section of your favorite pages and so on. However, we still have to wait for the update, as things may change until the official release.
Facebook declared that they have tested the empathy button in two countries so far: Ireland and Spain. These two countries’ friend requests usually do not extend beyond their borders, which makes them very good for Facebook experiments. Officials declared that they will use the feedback from these two countries in order to improve the feature, and that they will release it as quickly as possible to everyone else.
The good news is that empathetic emoji will roll out this year for all Facebook users.
Photo credits: Flickr