Facebook doesn’t need a dislike button

Facebook is finally giving into audience pressure, announcing Wednesday at a town-hall meeting that the globally popular social network will be adding a “dislike” button.

This news from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally answers your friend’s comment of “Why isn’t there a dislike button?” in a sad post that shows up on the news feed.

But why does Facebook need a dislike button?

We’ve gone more than 10 years now without dislike buttons on Facebook. For more than half those years, we’ve endured countless terrible stories and sad posts on our feeds, and every one of them has come and gone without the dislike button.

It’s a button. That shows you don’t like something.

Facebook doesn’t need the dislike button. It doesn’t even need the like button. Facebook is built on sharing and impressions, not liking – though liking can be used as a marketing tool, and it counts as “interaction,” which can be sold. Most people simply hit the like button on things that they feel like they have to like. Baby announcements, engagements, cool photos, weight-loss updates, etc. We often indifferently click these things.

What the dislike button does, according to Zuckerberg, is offer a chance “to express empathy” on sad or serious posts.

You know what it really does? It now puts sad and serious posts in the same waste bin as your random friend’s baby announcement, engagement, cool photo and weight-loss update. People may spend a few seconds on theses posts, max. Like it, maybe write a comment, then move on. The same thing will happen here. By adding the dislike button, and encouraging like and dislike usage, Facebook is helping to push us away from taking action, and closer to indifferently, even apathetically, clicking things because we feel we have to.