Mark Zuckerberg says the social network is close to testing a way for people to express emotions with a shorthand interaction.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long disliked the idea of a dislike button, but he said today that Facebook will soon be testing an alternative to the Like button, another way for people to express shorthand emotions within the social network.
“I think people have asked about the dislike button for many years. Probably hundreds of people have asked about this,” Zuckerberg said during a Townhall Q&A in the company’s Menlo Park headquarters. “Today is a special today because today is the day where I actually get to say we are working on it and are very close to shipping a test of it.”
Zuckerberg quickly followed up with his oft-stated opinion that he didn’t want to create a situation where people are downvoting other people’s posts. He gave no specifics about what the button or buttons would be called but said the idea is to give people a way to express empathy.
“Not every moment is a good moment and if you are sharing something that is sad, like the refugee crisis that touches you, or a family member passed away, it may not feel comfortable to like that post,” he said. “But your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand and that they relate to you. So I do think it’s important to give people more options than just like as a quick way to emote and share what they are feeling on a post.”
“We have been working on this for a while. It’s surprisingly complicated to make an interaction that you want to be that simple. We have an idea that we think we’re going to be ready to test soon. And depending on how it does, we’ll roll it out more broadly.”
Here are Zuckerberg’s full remarks about the Like button alternative: