Why Facebook Has No “Dislike Button”
Years ago Facebook came out with the concept of a “like”. Originally it was a way to acknowledge someone’s status without the trouble of posting a comment. Later Facebook adapted it for concepts, companies and pages. Symbolized by a simple blue “thumbs up” icon, the “like” soon became an integral part of the social network, as well as an integral part of marketing and pop culture. At the same time a new tradition started: people asking and complaining about why there was no “dislike” button. Even after years of user requests and complaints, Facebook has come no closer to implementing such a feature. Chances are they never will. Here’s why.
Likes are for marketers
Facebook makes its money from advertisers and marketers. Corporations are the customers, not individuals. Companies use Facebook because it allows then to build a large, enthusiastic audience that they can directly market to. It also allows companies to show off their bandwagon support: “Look at how many people like our page. Our product must be good.”
Adding a “dislike” button would undermine all of this. Imagine what would happen if Walmart’s Facebook page got more dislikes than likes? (And you know it would.) Walmart would be a lot less likely to give Facebook money or participate in online promotions if they knew there was a good chance of negative feedback. And imagine how this would reflect on politics. In a two-party system like we have in the US, people vote against one candidate as much as for the other. If politicians’ Facebook pages had “dislike” buttons, just about every living politician would be in the red.
The “Dislike Button” on personal statuses
Even if Facebook doesn’t want to add dislike buttons to corporate web pages, they could at least add them to personal statuses. This would be helpful with etiquette. For example, if someone posts that their dog died, it seems rude to “like” their status. A dislike button would help with this, but again, it’s not going to happen. Once again, it comes down to advertisers. Walmart doesn’t want people to “dislike” their postings. Neither does anyone else for that matter. And while many websites have used some sort of dislike or disapproval system (like Reddit), this system would not mesh with Facebook. Facebook has positioned itself as a way to connect with friends and brands you love. Adding a dislike button would undermine the whole system.
Do you think that Facebook will ever add a “dislike” button? Why or why not? Let me know in the comment section.