Social Media

Facebook Finally Tests ‘Dislike’ Button—But Not Where You’d Want It

You may be able to tell your friends 'thumbs down' soon

Social Media
Illustration: Vocativ
Mar 06, 2017 at 11:57 AM ET

Facebook users have been wanting a dislike button for some time now, and although 2017 might be the year in which they finally get it, it won’t be where you’d expect.

The social network is currently testing a new feature on Facebook Messenger that lets users dislike messages from friends and family, according to TechCrunch. Based on a screen shot, the feature is very similar to that of Slack or iMessages on the iPhone where users can select the thumbs down emoji to react to a message as a way of saying “dislike.”

Users can also use other emoji such as the heart eyes, laughing, crying, angry, surprised and the original thumbs up. The emoji will be displayed right below the message for everyone in the thread to see.

“We’re always testing ways to make Messenger more fun and engaging,” a Messenger spokesperson told Vocativ via email. “This is a small test where we enable people to share an emoji that best represents their feelings on a message.”

These reactions, if implemented widely, could serve as a quick way to acknowledge and respond to messages without having to type out an entire explanation. So if you’re friend were to ask, “want to go to the gym after work?” You could just hit the thumbs down reaction emoji as a way of saying “no.”

Facebook users initially wanted a dislike button for the News Feed in order to dislike friends’ posts, videos and photos — including, say, baby photos. However, Facebook’s answer to that request was a collection of emoji “reactions” instead, that give users the option to express more nuanced or empathetic emotions than a simple like, such as love, awe, humor, anger or sadness.

Messenger reactions are currently only available to a very small group of users, but if Facebook gets enough positive feedback, it might roll out the feature to all users.