Facebook's 'Dislike Button' May Finally Arrive... On Messenger


In what many will likely decry as a pretty arbitrary addition to the service, Facebook are currently testing out the reactions feature on Messenger. Basically, this function would allow users to 'react' to specific messages with the same set of options which are available on the main platform, but there's more.

As well as the standard set of reactions, and the like button, some users have reported the appearance of a thumbs down, or 'dislike'. Users have been debating back and forth about the need for a dislike button for years, a debate which actually helped usher in the age of the reaction. Nobody could have predicted that when it finally arrived, it would be exclusive to Messenger.

Facebook don't actually see it that way. In statements made about the new addition, they've characterised it more like a 'no' button, a way for users to veto a suggestion. Users probably won't see it that way, especially since, without that explanation, it certainly looks like a dislike button. More to the point, using a little thumbs down to tell someone you can't make it to the pub by 8 is no more convenient than just telling them that. If anything it's less convenient.

Arguably you could use these reactions on a multi-person chat when it might not be immediately obvious who you're replying to, but again you could arguably achieve the exact same result by simply addressing them by name. Also, when on earth would it ever be practical to apply the 'angry', 'wow' or 'lol' reactions in this way? Somebody please tell me.

Slack have been using a similar feature for a while, but given that Slack is meant more as an in-office chat function, where 90% of the threads have multiple people, perhaps numbering in the dozens, it starts to make sense. If your office is using Facebook Messenger for this purpose, you might want to flag it up with HR.

I could be wrong, this feature could make Messenger more convenient, more fluid and altogether better, but I'm not sure about those odds. Messenger is at its best when it's being used for intimate one-on-one chat, and there's very little need for 'reactions' in that world. Sure, that doesn't invalidate the feature, but you have to wonder why they aren't just making it exclusive to Work Chat instead. The other key question is, will this mean that the thumbs down will soon arrive on the main Facebook platform? I wouldn't hold your breath.

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