Keep Calm: Facebook’s Dislike Button Is Going To Be All Right

September 25, 2005

For the last week the Internet has lost its collective mind at the news Facebook is close to testing a new dislike function.

While people have been asking for a dislike button since Facebook’s inception, not everyone is thrilled with the idea.

Teachers, psychologists and parents have been worried that dislike will be a new toy for online bullies.

Marketers have been worried that the dislike will hurt their post reach, and many people have worried about whether dislike will hurt business owners feelings.

There aren’t a lot of details about exactly what the new feature will be and how it will be implemented so we thought we’d calm things down and look at the possible results from both angles.

We don’t even know if it IS a Dislike button

Everyone has been calling it that, but in the announcement Zuckerberg himself made it clear that he didn’t want to release a feature that would allow people to down vote posts. Instead, the new feature was framed as a way to show empathy. “It’s important to give people more options than just ‘like’ to help express empathy and sympathy,” Zuckerberg said.

For businesses

There is still speculation about whether the button will even be applied to branded posts, but assuming it is, here are the potential pros and cons:


  • Facebook’s has a new tool for understanding their audience making targeting more focused.
  • Marketers gain an extra insight to help understand, refine and build content that audience will love.


  • People’s disapproval will be more visible
  • Facebook may use the metric to further restrict organic reach

It’ll be interesting to see how the dislike button is released and what impact it does have. One thing that certainly won’t change is the importance of being audience focused with your social content.