Facebook’s Dislike Button and its Possible Impact on Businesses

The joys of a dislike button. Or, “Share This If You Disagree”

The shape of things to come: the Facebook dislike button thumbs down.

Over the last five or so years, many Facebook users have badgered the social networking site for a ‘dislike button’. Today, their wish was granted by Mark Zuckerberg with the new feature ready for user testing.

Instead of allowing users to click ‘dislike’ in a hateful sense (undermining one’s private life or interests for instance), it is aimed at being able to express empathy.

You may troll if you want to… the button’s not for trolling

At face value, a dislike button seems like carte blanche to criticise and troll any given post. Businesses could see their reputation undermined if s/he given them a bad review a la Trip Advisor.

Thankfully, Facebook’s future addition will discourage such practices. Instead, it will be used to let people show their dislike of upsetting things. For instance, the announcement of a family death could see the user ‘dislike’ that status instead of ‘like’. The same if s/he loses their job, or shows their disgust at disagreeable policies.

An unnecessary distraction?

Is there more to the dislike button than meets the eye? Could this be about Facebook wanting to know more about our inner feelings? If you use Facebook several times daily, you will notice how sponsored links tie in with your status updates.

A ‘dislike’ for animal cruelty incidents could see a number of sponsored links from the RSPCA, Dogs Trust or your local dogs’ home. In Time Magazine, it is claimed the dislike button would swell Facebook’s advertising coffers. With The Book of Face hoping to see lower bounce rates (users staying for longer periods), this is where the ad money would roll in.

On the other hand, this could make for a more attractive advertising channel for small businesses. A viable alternative to Google AdWords.

Share this article if you agree

The ‘dislike button’ seems good in principle but, in spite of Mr. Zuckerberg’s honest intentions, we fear it could be abused by individuals. Once the first dislike button appears on our Facebook pages, we at the Manchester Business Forum shall be taking a look. Same time, same place…

The Manchester Business Forum, 16 September 2015.

Thumbs Down image by Joe the Goat Farmer, 2015 (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).