Facebook's 'dislike' button -- for Messenger only?

dislike facebook
Credit: Giorgi Balakhadze

If you are a Facebook user, what is the one thing you have most wanted out of the social network?

If you said a dislike button, you are not alone. Facebook users have long requested that of the platform, and they may finally be getting what they asked for -- though not in the form they thought.

In IT Blogwatch, we add a reaction. 

So what is going on? Adam Westlake has the background:

Facebook may finally be giving users one of their most long-desired features: a dislike button...however, it’s not...turning up in [the] form that users have asked for -- as a response in the News Feed -- instead it may be coming to Messenger, along with...reactions. The social network has confirmed that it’s testing the two features within its Messenger platform, but only on a limited basis for now.

And how exactly will it work? Aaron Brown is in the know:

Facebook is testing a...reactions feature that would allow...users to add a reaction emoticon besides text in [messenger] conversations.
...
Users will...add reactions by tapping a button next to the text, which will summon a menu similar to that seen beneath Facebook posts.
...
Facebook...also included a reaction counter that tallies the total number of reactions to any given line, something which will...be useful in Group Chats.

But what are the reactions, again? Marie Brewis reminds us:

In October 2015 it was revealed that...Facebook's chief product officer...and his team had been experimenting with "reactions"...these buttons were an extension of the like button and allow you to convey anger and sadness, as well as expressing the sentiments wow, haha, yay, and love.

Why has it taken so long for Facebook to debut a dislike button? Mark Molloy fills us in:

Facebook has previously resisted...the introduction of such a button on its News Feed, over fears it could be used to “demean” other people’s posts.

So why the change now? Does Facebook no longer believe that? No, rather, it is because Facebook doesn't actually think of it as a dislike button, apparently. Shehab Khan has the details:

Facebook is...adamant this is more of a “no” button and it is being tested to see if the reaction is helpful for when group conversations need to vote, for instance.

Well, in that case, we are sure no one will ever dream of using it as a dislike button, right? But is it useful? Britni De La Cretaz has an answer for that:

It’s clearly an attempt by Facebook to ensure Messenger can compete with...conversation and chat apps, but perhaps Facebook should stick to what it does best: creating a social community through news feeds and allowing folks to casually chat with Messenger. Apps like Slack fill a gap that maybe Facebook isn’t meant to occupy, one that supports work conversations, as opposed to casual chats.

That about covers it -- just one more thing, though. Thecat X asks an important question on Twitter:

People still use Facebook?
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