Why Facebook's Dislike button is such a smart marketing move

Facebook is introducing a Dislike button - and marketers can not wait for the extra data to target you in their next advertising campaign.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Facebook's Dislike button will be a quick way to emote or share what they are feeling when they post according to Mark Zuckerberg during his recent Q&A session.

Zuckerberg said that people on Facebook wanted to "express empathy", for example: the refugee crisis, or someone passing away. He said that users may not feel "comfortable to Like that type of post".

The Dislike button will help Facebook users to express that they understand your sadness -- or that they relate to how you are feeling. It will give people more options than just being able to like a post.

People are not looking for the ability to "down vote other people's posts" he said. "What they are looking for is a way to be able to express empathy". Not every moment of our lives "are good" so the button will enable you to express something that is sad.

Zuckerberg also said that it is "surprisingly complicated to make an interaction that is that simple". The button is in testing and depending on how it does in user testing, it will be rolled out "more broadly".

Users have commented that the Dislike button might lead to trolling and that a "solidarity" button might be better to express how they feel. But marketers will look forward to the addition.

Like and Dislike are binary choices that give little information to advertisers who pay Facebook to market their products.

Adding a button to a social networking platform is not "surprisingly complicated" -- even if Zuckerberg claims it is. Liking a post adds what Facebook calls an "Edge" -- an entry in a database -- nothing more. The design team will check the user experience for the click and make sure people interact in the right way over the button.

The workflow will be checked to make the addition seamless for users. A company the size of Facebook would have no problem with the implementation process.

Alternatively this Dislike button could be rolled out as an 'emote' button. This button could have the functionality to display a wide range of emotions.

Similar to scoring your choice from one to five, this emote button drop down could deliver a range of emotions for you to choose from.

You could choose from feeling slightly "meh" about a post -- to absolutely hating it.

Your feelings now could be part of a whole taxonomy in the database as opposed to a simple, single category entry.

These multiple fields will give Facebook a whole new range of data to play with -- and sell.

The user experience on Facebook is complicated. We all use the platform in different ways.

From keeping in touch, showing off about our lives, sharing news or gossip, there are millions of different scenarios in which this button could be used.

The button could be used as Facebook intended - or it could be adopted by the community in a whole new way. This could have very negative connotations for Facebook. The Dislike button could become a way for user to troll, bully or to tell your Facebook friends -- or brands -- that they suck.

This rich seam of data will be invaluable to marketers and advertisers. They will soon be able to market to you based on how much empathy you show with someone else.

They will be able to target you based on competitive data about what you do not like.

The list is endless and marketers will love the new data fields to target us much more tightly with ads custom designed just for us.

You don't like tea? Well there's a very good chance that you will like coffee. Coke or Pepsi? Ford or Chevrolet? Butter or Margarine? Apple or Android? Republican or Democrat?

Facebook will soon know even more about what what we want -- even if we ourselves are not too sure.

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