Facebook cold on 'dislike' button, but mulling other ideas

An international rollout of graph search is in the offing too

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, pictured Dec. 11, 2014, during a public town hall meeting at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, pictured Dec. 11, 2014, during a public town hall meeting at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

For all those times on Facebook when a "like" just doesn't cut it, the company is thinking about adding more options, though probably not "dislike."

"A lot of times, people share things that are sad, or tough cultural or social things," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday. Giving users a tool to express a broader range of emotions like empathy or surprise might be a useful feature for people who don't want to post a comment with their own words, he said.

But a standalone "dislike" button may not come, the Facebook chief said, partly due to the toxicity it may breed.

A dislike button may also inspire people to post less, which can't be good for Facebook's ads, though of course Zuckerberg didn't say that.

The 30-year-old chief executive delivered his remarks during Facebook's second public town hall event at its Menlo Park headquarters, that was streamed online. More than a dozen questions submitted from the Internet and taken from the audience were answered, covering everything from Facebook's privacy policy, the international availability of search, to what Zuckerberg likes on this pizza. (It's fried chicken.)

Facebook recently brought Graph Search, its tool for searching posts, to mobile and the desktop. But it's still only available in English. International versions of the tool in other languages are in the works and should be coming soon, Zuckerberg said.

The executive also defended Facebook's frequent updates to its privacy policy, saying they were needed to reflect changing technologies and the arrival of new products.

"Facebook used to be one product. Now it's a company offering lots of different services," Zuckerberg said. User location information is a particularly sensitive piece in that, he said, as new mobile features like "Nearby Friends" are released.

Zuckerberg also took a question from the audience about Facebook's controversial "mood experiment," in which the company tweaked the news feeds of some of its users to assess the impact on their moods. He stopped short of apologizing, though he did say it prompted the company to reflect on its internal processes for user experiments, and "tighten things up." Facebook subsequently added new guidelines to the research it conducts.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicessocial networkingmobilesocial mediainternetFacebook

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?