Facebook might be an old horse in the social media space, but it’s still the biggest game in town. For years, users of Facebook have grown accustomed to the “like” button function, which often has been applied awkwardly, but now a “dislike” button is on the horizon.
During a live Q&A session “town hall” discussion, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg made mention of the dislike button and why he feels the tool should be developed. Although users for years have demanded the function, their requests often went unheard until the streaming event on Tuesday (Sept. 15).
The company’s co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg revealed the ongoing tests during a question and answer session on Tuesday.
“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,” he said.
The “dislike” button has been a subject of much discussion over the years.
The CEO said the company has been working on the feature—which would allow users to express emotions other than “like”—for some time because “we don’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts.”
“That doesn’t seem like the kind of community that we want to create: You don’t want to go through the process of sharing some moment that was important to you in your day and have someone ‘downvote’ it,” he said, using the lingo of popular online forum Reddit.
Instead, Zuckerberg said, the new feature will allow people to “express empathy” with their Facebook friends, explaining what many users of the social media platform already knew: “If you are sharing something that is sad…then it may not feel comfortable to ‘like’ that post.”
While the dislike button is all the rage, Zuckerberg also made mention of Facebook’s developments with the Oculus virtual reality program. The CEO also spoke about artificial intelligence and automated technology, such as self-driving cars, adding that trepidation over the impending technological advances is “dangerous” and says he’s an “optimist” regarding the future applications of technology.
Watch CNBC’s video report below.