Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the company is working on a ‘dislike' button to provide a way to express a disinclination towards posts in a newsfeed.
The addition of such a feature will please many Facebook users who have been clamouring for it since the introduction of the ‘like' button in 2009.
Zuckerberg revealed the dislike button in a Q&A session (video below) at the company's California headquarters, noting that Facebook had listened to the requests of its users.
"We've finally heard you and we're working on this and we will deliver something that meets the needs of the larger community," he said.
"People have asked about the dislike button for many years, and today is a special day because I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it."
It is unlikely that Facebook will actually term the new button as 'dislike' but will be termed in a way so it is easier to display empathy, according to the Zuckerberg.
‘Not every moment is a good moment. If you are sharing something that is sad, whether in current events like the refugee crisis or if a family member passed away, it may not be comfortable to 'like' that post," he explained.
"But your friends and people want to be able to express and understand that they relate to you, so I do think that it is important to give people more options than just 'like' as a quick way to emote and share what they are feeling on a post."
Zuckerberg added that is surprisingly complex to introduce such a button in a simple way, and did not reveal any specific release date for the new feature.
Clearly Facebook wants to avoid introducing a feature that apes the ‘down vote' button in user-generated news site Reddit.
The revealing of a dislike button is a change of tack for Facebook, which had for some time resisted demands to introduce such a feature owing to concerns that it would not be socially valuable for the Facebook community.
Acquiescing to such requests is likely to help the firm keep its user numbers high, which recently hit one billion in a single day.
Morphisec discovered malware compromise first, claims Avast, not Cisco
Fabes has held senior IT positions for over 30 years
Can Alienware's latest and greatest topple the mighty ASUS ROG Zephyrus as the most powerful gaming ultrabook we've seen?
Jacky Wright takes over from interim CDIO Mike Potter