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.
To watch the Facebook Town Hall meeting in full, please visit Facebook’s blog here.
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