Earlier this year, Facebook started testing its “Downvote” button, raising the hope of users who have long craved a Dislike button. But the Downvote button is intended to create a platform for healthy discussions, if we are to believe Facebook’s pronouncements. “We are not testing a dislike button,” said a spokesperson. “We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts.”
The Downvote button appears in the comment section and drives irrelevant or misleading comments farther down the list. That means fewer people can see them. Essentially, the button lets users report a comment, and, after downvoting, users have the option of reporting why they did so. In some ways, it’s not unlike Reddit’s Downvote button.
Facebook has struggled with the idea of enabling a ‘dislike’ button. Zuckerberg said any feature enabled on Facebook would have to be carefully designed to avoid spreading negativity or used for bullying, hence his skepticism about a dislike button.
Since the Downvote testing, Facebook has not said whether it will be permanently enabled. The impact that this feature will have on the marketing world is unclear, but it’s obvious it will affect a page’s engagements. Giving users more options to react to online content will increase the ways in which they interact with the page.
While Facebook is becoming more conscious of quality content, – recently changing its news feed algorithm – keeping investors, businesses and brands happy is also a priority. So users may give a thumbs up to the downvote prospect, but Facebook’s ad revenue may get a thumbs down.