Facebook is toying with a “sympathize” button on posts that express a negative emotion or report a hardship. The button would be a response to users’ ongoing request for a Dislike button, which was first brought up shortly after the Like button was introduced.
Facebook engineer Dan Murillo discussed the possibility of it during the company’s Compassionate Research Day, held on December 5. The potential button wouldn’t appear alongside the Like button. Instead, sympathize would replace the word “like” when a user expressed the negative emotion or reported a hardship so that friends could show their support without making it seem like they are happy about the status or event.
In order for the button to change, the Facebook user would have to select “sad” or “depressed” from Facebook’s list of available emotions. Because of this, it probably wouldn’t work in all cases. More importantly, the site notes that many of the ideas introduced at Facebook hackathons are never actually made into reality.
While it’s unlikely the button will become a reality, at least for now, it does mean that the social network hears users’ complaints, and at least considers addressing them. Many of the site’s signature features also came from hackathons, including the Timeline profile pates, Facebook Chat, and even the Like button.
[H/T The Huffington Post]