Facebook finally addressed the long-time request of its users for a Dislike button, though not in the exactly expected manner.
In October, a test of the new Reactions was launched. It’s about an expansion of the Like button, which offers a palette of Emotions, such as: Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad, and Angry. They are all animated variations of the well-known Unicode emoji characters, which will further enable the users to adjust to the new feature seamlessly.
By long-pressing or hovering over the well-known blue thumb-button, we will now see a white heart on a red background, followed by the oh-so-familiar yellow round faces or combinations of them, such as an open-mouth smile, then one with closed eyes, a crying face, followed by an astonished one, and finally a frowning face that turns red. Of course, the option for designing new original icons did exist, but the easily-recognizable Emoticons to which users are already accustomed to, will provide a much smoother implementation of the new experience on the platform.
Why all of this instead of simply adding a Thumbs-Down button?! The need of such an option on Facebook arises from the lack of possibilities the users have to express their attitudes towards the posts they encounter on their News Feed daily. To put it bluntly: not everything is Like-appropriate, but that does not necessarily make it suitable of a Dislike, either.
With the introduction of these Feelings, users will be provided with the broadest range of human emotions fitted into the smallest number of icons possible. This is believed to optimize News Feed experience in a way that users will have a total of seven options to express themselves in a simple and respectful way.
In other words, the new Facebook Feelings introduce an economical mode of communication between users, which enables them to express love, laughter, joy, awe and surprise, on one hand, and anger, sadness and empathy, on the other; all of this possible without the unwanted effect of downgrading a user’s post, as would be the case with a Dislike button.
Some users claim that this is a rather restrictive palette of emotions, and now there are requests for Emoticons expressing sarcasm, irony, curiosity, being uninterested and what not. Facebook’s response to this is that the current offer is a balanced line up of emoticons, aligned on the basis of what’s commonly seen in people’s comments on various posts, taking into consideration the fact that these Emoticons will mainly be used in public, rather than private interactions. Therefore, the aim of these Reactions is not enabling exact reflections of users’ feelings, but expressing their attitudes in a socially-acceptable manner.
‘Yay’ to that, I believe all of us are looking forward to the new Facebook experience.