It was announced this year that Facebook was trialling a new alternative version to the traditional news feed, named Explore. The rationale was that the social networking site would provide users with engaging content based on their likes and interests, making Facebook users less confined to their own social bubble.
For some time now, there have been widespread calls from users for Facebook to introduce a “dislike” button to go alongside the traditional “like” button, allowing users to express their feelings towards posts on the site. The idea had been resisted, though, due to concerns that such a feature could lead to cyber-bullying. A dislike button could also prove unpopular with big brands who use Facebook as a part of their marketing.
It appears that the social networking giant is not done with the innovations in early 2017 though, after it was announced that Facebook will be trialling a dislike button on its Messenger app on a small number of people, who will now have the capability to respond to messages on the app in a similar manner to the way in which users can respond with reactions on a post.
It has been nearly a year since Facebook launched its reactions feature, which has proven popular among users. According to New York Magazine, over 300 billion reactions have been sent since their introduction.
A representative for the social media leviathan was keen to highlight that the small trial was an attempt to allow users to display their emotions accurately over the messenger app: “We’re always testing to make Messenger more fun and engaging. This is a small test where we enable people to share an emoji that best represents their feelings on a message”.
Facebook Messenger last year stepped over the one billion user threshold, in the same year that WhatsApp, also owned by Facebook, achieved the same feat.
Facebook describes the dislike reaction as more of a “no” button which, they hope, could prove useful to people who use Messenger for planning or group voting on a particular subject.