Dear Facebook, Stay Away from Dislike Button Please
This week Mark Zuckerberg sat down with Diane Sawyer ABC News to talk about the company's 500 millionth user-base, a lawsuit and privacy issues.
Among the wide-spanning conversation, was the premise of the much-discussed "Dislike" button.
As 500 million people know, Facebook allows users to "Like" status updates or community pages (brands, products, people, etc.) The button has had some expansion as of late, with users being able to "like" specific comments to status updates as well as the implementation of the button to the greater web.
The Dislike button on the other hand, doesn't exist. However, there's a page dedicated to the button, which has swelled to 3.2 million people. Additionally, there are at least two unofficial extensions for the Firefox browser — FaceMod and Facebook Dislike, which claim to add a Dislike button for those users who install them.
Imagine the crap-show that an official Dislike button would create between friends, family, spouses, etc. From a brand perspective, a Dislike button would be the ultimate PR nightmare.
Imagine a global social media campaign that's geared towards a cause — any cause, like feeding hungry children. However, as Mortin Moms and Domino's cases show you, things can turn bad very quickly in social media. So, if the cause to feed hungry kids looks good on paper, but it's poorly executed, fans will turn on the nasty light switch and kit the Dislike button as if it was their job.
What does the brand do then? Do they kill the campaign? Do they engage with the Dislikers and ask them how they can change their votes to "Likes" instead?
If Facebook wants to surge towards a billion users, they need to dislike the Dislike button. Keep it on the concept list that you ignore. Don't do it. Don't implement it.
Well, the drama that it would cause could shift user and brand interest all together. This, of course, would severely impact advertising revenue and in essence, could potentially shut the Facebook doors down.
Now, if Facebook offered the Dislike button as an opt-in feature, it could work. But, who in the right mind would invite Dislike votes to their content?
So, Facebook, do yourself a favor and kill the Dislike button noise. You, your users and the companies you rely on for advertising revenue, are better off without it.