Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that they are developing a ‘Dislike’ button allowing users to show other emotions for a post instead of just ‘liking’ it. Apparently the main intention of the button will be for users to show empathy when a friend or someone they follow posts unfortunate news.
“People have asked about the ‘Dislike’ button for many years, and probably hundreds of people have asked about this, and today is a special day because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it. Not every moment is a good moment if you share something that’s sad like a refugee crisis that touches you or a family member passes away, it may not be comfortable to like that postâ€¦I do think it’s important to give people more options than liking it.”
— Mark Zuckerberg
Although many users are happy to hear of the new thumbs down button, marketers and people that use Facebook pages for business may feel slightly differently about the situation, as even though details are scarce at the moment, it is extremely likely that the Dislike button will become part of the Facebook Edge rank algorithm and affect how businesses content is shown in newsfeeds.
At the moment, a number of factors are taken into account for how and when your content is shown to your followers in their feed, the metrics are; Likes, shares, comments and clicks.
What happens when a post gets many ‘Dislikes’?
Normally if something you posts gets many Likes then it appears more often in a followers feed, increasing the chances of more people seeing the post and also liking it or even commenting, sharing or clicking through to an external site.
However, what we don’t know right now is what will happen if we post something negative and it gets many ‘Dislikes’ then will these dislikes keep that post in a users stream or will they have the adverse affect on that post, burying it in Facebook’s newsfeed graveyard to never be seen?
A lack of engagement with negative posts?
We may have mentioned this before – a comment on a post has been proven to be a lot more valuable than a Like. Without the Dislike button users are more likely to leave a comment when they want to show empathy with a negative topic, however, bringing in a button for disliking this content turns all this on its head and could see people simply clicking the dislike button instead of commenting or sharing on the post. This could have a damaging effect on marketing posts.
What about Trolls?
In this day and age it seems Internet Trolls (people who go out of their way to jeopardise others online) are everywhere. This means we could see people purposely disliking a post on Facebook even if the content isn’t negative, this is something marketers and brands are not going to want to see. Mark Zuckerberg has said that they aren’t looking to bring in a Reddit style system when people can ‘down vote’ a post and it will be pushed out or down a feed so hopefully trolls can be negated. Only time will tell if this works or not.
Are there any positives to this?
We are still unsure on exactly how this button is going to work or how it will integrate with their algorithm but one key point is that business pages will be able to analyse what content their followers and fans dislike and then tailor their future posts around that. This will help for business page owners like ourselves to get a better understanding of our target market.
When will we see it?
Well, since the announcement just over two weeks ago there haven’t been any further updates from Facebook. At the moment we are all pretty much in the dark and all we can do is wait and see.
We do however believe that Facebook will have this new functionality running on personal profiles for testing before they are added to business pages.
Hopefully the Dislike button will get a thumbs up from business pages.