September 17, 2015 ↘︎

The value of a dislike.

Facebook users have been requesting it forever and a day, and now they are finally getting it. A ‘dislike’ button is on its way! Still in development and testing the social networking company haven’t yet released timings for the update. The social network is adamant the idea behind it is not to promote negative feelings nor will it be called ‘dislike’.

What will Facebook’s new dislike button mean for brands?

There is an abundance of content posted on Facebook, and our News Feed works hard to present us with the information that is most relevant to us.

Currently, Facebook users can like, comment or share posts, which many believe limits the ability to express their feelings; the ‘dislike’ button introduces another emotion, allowing users to communicate more effectively.

‘I do think it’s important to give people more emotions than just a quick way to emote and share what they’re feeling on a post.’   Mark Zuckerberg, CEO

Whereas once the posts by our friends, family and the brands we like was presented chronologically, now an algorithm is used to curate the News Feed. The algorithm is designed to present us with the information it thinks we will be most interested in based on previous posts we’ve interacted with.

So will the introduction of a dislike button on Facebook mean that brands will have greater visibility over what content their audience is interested in?

Building an empathetic community.

As the real and online worlds merge together new methods of communicating are constantly developing. Younger generations are now growing up surrounded by, and immersed in digital. For these generations, social media is a normal means of communication along with talking face to face.

If brands want to stay in touch and engage their consumers they need to adapt to these new communications and technologies that are becoming available.

Brands that are successful in their content marketing are the brands that listen to their consumers. Content that is emotive and empathetic is more likely to provoke a response from consumers. The interaction with content on a brand’s website and social networks provides them with valuable data, this engagement is what brands strive for.

The value of a dislike.

Traditionally brands gauge their performance on social by looking at engagement metrics such as likes, comments and shares. The Facebook ‘dislike’ button will introduce a whole new set of data for brands and allow them to listen more closely to what their consumers think and feel.

It’s unsure how the update will affect the Facebook algorithm, and there is some scepticism around how it will affect brands posts appearing on the news feeds of users who have disliked a post previously. But  allowing users to show a range of emotions gives brands instant feedback on the content they publish on the social networking site. For brands, having transparency over what isn’t working can be just as insightful as what is working.

And dislike isn’t a new invention for social networks either, Reddit allows it’s community to ‘down-vote’ posts and similarly YouTube viewers can ‘dislike’ videos. Irrespective of whether the sentiment is thumbs up or thumbs down, the value for brands is in the engagement. No engagement is bad engagement.


There will be some brands that fear the introduction of criticism that the new button brings and no doubt they will initially shy away from posting on the platform. But for others that embrace it, the new data they will gain will be invaluable to their marketing strategy.

The introduction of the new button will give brands access to greater insights around the content they post on Facebook. As a result, they will be able to create more tailored content and target it more effectively.

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