Facebook Is Building An Empathy Button, Not “Dislike”. Here’s How It Could Work

Facebook Is Building An Empathy Button, Not “Dislike”. Here’s How It Could Work

By Josh Constine


The Dislike button has long been the most requested feature from Facebook users. So when Mark Zuckerberg today said in a public Q&A that the company was working on a way to show empathy for victims of tragedies and other things that are inappropriate to Like, news outlets around the world sprung into action saying the masses would soon get their wish.

But don’t hold your breath for a button called “Dislike”. Zuck explicitly said that’s not what Facebook is building.

Here’s the video of his response to requests for a Dislike button. At the bottom of this post you’ll find the full transcript of this answer.




Facebook is building a new button

“I think people have asked about the Dislike button for many years…today is the day where I actually get to say that we’re working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it.”

But it’s not a Dislike button

“We didn’t want to just build a Dislike button because we don’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts. That doesn’t seem like the kind of community we want to create.”


There’s a gap in Facebook’s feedback mechanisms

“People aren’t looking for an ability to downvote other people’s posts. What they really want is to be able to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment, right? And if you are sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events like the refugee crisis that touches you or if a family member passed away, then it might not feel comfortable to Like that post.”

So Facebook’s building a solution

“But your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand and that they relate to you.”

Really, this makes total sense. If Facebook built a Dislike button, it would just cause confusion. If I share a post about victims of a natural disaster, and you Dislike it, does that mean you Dislike that the tragedy happened? That you Dislike the victims? That you Dislike that I posted it? It’s extraordinarily ambiguous in a way that directly conflicts with how Facebook builds products.

How Facebook Might Build A “Sorry” Button

What makes much more sense is a button that conveys that you empathize or sympathize with a post’s author and/or those affected by the tough situation.

In fact, Facebook already has a version of this called “Recommend”. Websites can use it instead of the Like button to help people share stories that are tragic. But now Facebook is building something new to express condolences.

Whatever wording Facebook picks, it has to be widely understandable, translatable across languages, succinct and unambiguous.

One possibility for the name of the button could be “Sorry” or something of that nature. A word that when you read it, you know the sender understands the sadness of a story and feels for you and the victims.

To implement this, Facebook might give people posting stories the option to replace the Like button with this empathy button, or add one beside it. Facebook could potentially recommend the presence of the empathy button depending on the content of your post. For example, if it detected that what you’re saying is sad because you included the terms “died,” “passed away,” “hurt,” “fired” or “broke up,” or that you’re linking to a news story flagged as tragic.

This way, if you share something sad, people don’t have to be apprehensive about Liking it because they might give the wrong impression. This apprehension can fool Facebook’s News Feed sorting algorithm into thinking a post isn’t interesting. An empathy button will clue the algorithm in to when a post isn’t Likeable, but it’s still important for people to see.


Courtesy of TechCrunch

Receive A Monthly Printed Magazine With Your Camera Roll

Receive A Monthly Printed Magazine With Your Camera Roll

BY Romain Dillet


Many, many startups let you send postcards and print photo albums from your phone, but this startup is different. Recently is a subscription service to receive a monthly magazine with your best photos from your camera roll. It will cost you $9 a month with each magazine showcasing 100 photos.

Once you have the iOS app, the startup will ask you to review your camera roll once a month. If you have more than 100 photos, the app tries to automatically curate the best ones first.

You can then manually select and remove pictures, but this step is totally optional. Once you’re done, you hit upload and that’s it. A paper magazine will show up on your doorstep a few days later.

There isn’t anything revolutionary behind this startup, but I find this approach refreshing. Now that everyone takes dozens of pictures a month, you don’t have time to review these photos and select the best ones. Most of the time, your best photos end up in your camera roll in the middle of hundreds of other pictures.

Forcing you to regularly print photos lets you take a step back and actually look at your photos. And at the same time, printing a Recently edition doesn’t take hours. In just a few minutes, you can review the selection and send these photos right from your phone.

This is just a magazine, this isn’t a beautiful photo album. It doesn’t matter if some of your photos are blurry, because your camera roll tells a story.

Looking at the pictures from your last vacation brings back many memories. And flicking through your camera roll is the best way to remember long-forgotten friends and places.Timehop lets you remember what you did last year and the years before that.

Recently can do the same thing, with the advantage that you can physically hold some of your best memories. While there isn’t any word in these magazines, Recently tells a much more personal story than your favorite magazine subscription.


Courtesy of TechCrunch