Facebook users may soon be able to give posts a thumbs down.
Up until now, the social media giant has restricted users to liking posts and pages with the thumbs up button. In a recent interview, however, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that his company has been working on a thumbs down button for a while, and that it should be ready for public use in the near future.
The Value of Facebook Likes
The thumbs up button has long been used to indicate that a user likes a particular page or post. According to the AdWeek, each thumbs up on a business’s page is worth approximately $174, up from $136 in 2010. AdWeek came to this conclusion by comparing the consumer spending habits between fans and non-fans while analyzing elements like brand loyalty, spending, media value, cost acquisition and brand affinity. Of course, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that Facebook likes are highly valued. When a user sees that thousands of other users have liked a brand’s page, they’ll feel more comfortable making a purchase with that brand.
How the Thumbs Down May Affect Brand Pages
Being that we’ve yet to see the thumbs down button in action, we still don’t know exactly how it will impact brands on Facebook. If each thumbs up is worth $174, perhaps a thumbs down will take money away from the brand. When users encounter a brand page with more thumbs down than thumbs up, they’ll probably think twice before purchasing its products or services. Of course, we really won’t know how this new feature will affect brand pages until we see it implemented.
Didn’t Facebook Say ‘No’ to a Thumbs Down Option?
The short answer is yes. Last year, Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook would not be adding a thumbs down button. According to Zuckerberg, it’s not something he nor Facebook thinks it good for the world.
“Some people have asked for a ‘dislike’ button because they want to be able to say ‘that thing isn’t good’. And that’s not something that we think is good for the world. So we’re not going to build that,” said Zuckerberg during a live Q&A session last year.
Why the Change of Heart?
So, why did Zuckerberg change his mind and decide to create a thumbs down button? When he initially rejected the idea, he said a thumbs down button would be used to dislike posts. But in most recent interview, Zuckerberg said the new Facebook thumbs down button would be used for a different purpose: to express empathy.
For instance, if a user posts an update telling his or her friends that they have the flu, giving it thumbs down would be indicative of saying “that’s not good” or “I feel bad for you.”
It wouldn’t necessarily mean that the actual post content is bad, rather it’s a means for expressing empathy. Of course, this is what Zuckerberg and the gang are hoping to achieve. Whether or not Facebook users actually use the thumbs down button for this purpose, however, remains to be seen.
Image attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/striatic/