At a town hall Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg yesterday, Facebook announced that they are building an “Empathy” button. An alternative to the omnipresent thumbs-up “Like” has been one of the top requests since the feature was introduced in 2009.
The button will not arrive on your newsfeed just yet. Zuckerberg acknowledged the difficulty of creating a system that would avoid a Reddit-esque system of up and down votes or perpetuate too much negativity on the social media network. Instead, developers are building a feature to acknowledge that “not every moment is a good moment”.
When a tragedy breaks or an acquaintance loses a loved one, “liking” the announcement doesn’t make sense. Audiences will not get the “Dislike” button that’s been clamored for over the last 6 years, but we are going to see a change that will improve the user experience for many Facebook users by allowing a user to tap on a new action button to support a post with more empathy or support, rather than a cheering thumbs-up. The response to Zuckerberg’s announcement has been overwhemingly supportive, earning this update many likes from the public and the media.
Here is Zuckerberg making the announcement about the “Empathy” button:
To watch the Facebook Town Hall meeting in full, please visit Facebook’s blog here.
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