Facebook dislike button on the way?

Some say it could be, others that it won't as Facebook might run the risk of alienating advertisers
Kerry Butters

November 2, 2011

The much wished-for Facebook ‘dislike’ button could soon become a reality, if changes to Open Graph are anything to go by, according to SEO specialists QueryClick.

Following the much publicised F8 conference, it has emerged that changes to Open Graph have “opened up a whole lot of opportunities for users to express their opinions on their friends’ posts.”

Christopher Liversidge, QueryClick’s Managing Director comments: “For a very long time, Facebook users have been able to ‘like’ their Facebook friends’ posts – this means that they could show their appreciation for something that a friend had posted on Facebook by hitting a ‘like’ button.”

“But for as long as the like button has existed, users have been asking for a ‘dislike’ button, where they can show their disapproval or simply their negative feelings towards something they’ve posted.”

“These recent changes to Facebook’s Open Graph have actually made it more possible for users to do this, thanks to Facebook’s new ‘Gestures’ feature, which follows their popular ‘verb any noun’ feature.”

This feature gives users the opportunity to create their own actions, such as listing what music they are listening to, or what film they have watched.

Developers can develop their own actions using ‘gestures’, meaning “that a ‘dislike’ button may not seem that far away after all.”

Chris continues: “The ‘Gestures’ feature could really transform Facebook for users and developers, as it could open up so many possibilities for communicating with loved ones on the site.”

“It would seem pretty logical that if developers can create buttons for specific actions, that a ‘dislike’ button could be within reach. While Facebook have yet to confirm that the ‘dislike’ button is to be added to the site, the ‘Gestures’ feature could lead to a new and different way of sharing information online, which is just fantastic.”

However, some reports have speculated that the word ‘dislike’ is likely to be blocked by the social networking site should developers attempt to use it, as will crude terms or profanities.

According to a report by Mashable last week, this is indeed the case at the moment, even though other words such as “loathe” and “doesn’t like” appear to be allowed.

This would seem to infer that Facebook are doing all they can to ensure that a dislike button can’t be developed by anyone but them.

The dislike button has long been something that users of the site want and there is a plethora of fan pages and groups demanding one be added alongside the like button.

There have also been numerous scams which promise to deliver the dislike button should a user click a link, share a link etc.

Of course these scams are usually related to spam or malicious software/websites and do not actually give the user what they promise.

So it would seem to be in Facebook’s interest to provide a dislike button for their users, rather than allow things to continue as they are.

According to Mashable, the problem the social media has with the button is purely a financial one, as dislikes are likely to affect advertisers.

It would be all too easy for Facebook users to indiscriminately click dislike on branded pages, potentially affecting the trust surrounding that brand.

Similarly, companies could potentially use the button to target competition pages, and encourage users to dislike a competitor.

Bearing this in mind, it may be some time before users see a dislike button, if it ever happens at all.

When it comes down to the business end of the operation, the social media giant will no doubt continue to look to the best ways to grow revenue and ensure advertisers remain with them.

And whether the public can be trusted to use a dislike button in a responsible manner it would seem is doubtful.


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