Although the social media giant has long resisted the inclusion of a “Dislike” button, Facebook will soon allow users to give it feedback on why they dislike or hide posts on their feed.
“Over the next few months what you will see from us is more on why people like and don’t like certain things on their feed,” said Fidji Simo, Product Manager at Facebook. “We are planning to refine those so users can tell us exactly the reasons they are hiding that piece of content.”
Users will be able to tell Facebook if they find posts “offensive or uninteresting.” The feedback will go directly to the site’s algorithms, and will not be made available to the public.
Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Diane Sawyer in 2010 that he would consider adding the widely-sought “Dislike” button, he has since taken a strong stance against the addition, even in the face of other sites such as YouTube, Reddit, and Pandora allowing users to express dislike of posts.
“Actions on Facebook tend to focus on positive social interactions,” said Facebook engineer Bob Baldwin. “Like is the lightest-way to express positive sentiment. I don’t think adding a light-weight way to express native sentiment would be that valuable.”
Facebook’s latest foray into the world of negative feedback will not allow users’ friends to see their preferences, thereby alleviating the possibility that users would grow hesitant in both posting and providing feedback on other posts because of social ramifications. The new feedback system will aid Facebook in better targeting advertisements to its users, which is a vital component of the site’s business model.