Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg Tuesday announced that the social media giant would acquiesce to the many user requests for a “dislike” button.
That poses a quandary for retail marketers that use the site to announce products and initiatives, display advertising, and interact with customers.
Despite the many calls for the option, the move was met with a mixture of “like” and “dislike”.
Facebook users have long hated the prospect of hitting “like” when friends complain about something, have a bad day, or announce the death or illness of a loved one. The Facebook founder had nixed the idea of a "dislike" option for some time, and opponents argue it could potentially encourage cyber bullying. However, Zuckerberg himself recently announced his own wife’s pregnancy while also communicating the couple’s sadness and frustration over their experience with miscarriage.
But the move can leave marketers in a precarious position, Debra Aho Williamson, a social media analyst at the research firm eMarketer, told the New York Times.
“Over all, it’s probably a good thing to enable people to express feelings and emotions that they can’t express through a like button,” Williamson said. “But Facebook needs to be careful as to how they enable that capability with regard to advertising and all the potentially inflammatory discussions that could occur online.”