Facebook and Melia Robinson / Tech Insider
Facebook's iconic "Like" button has been joined by five new emojis called Reactions. They are meant to encompass the broad range of emotions you might feel after seeing a post on Facebook, from "Haha" to "Anger."
But even though the new emojis have been added, you still won't find a Dislike button anywhere on Facebook.
The reason Facebook decided to not make a Dislike button is the same reason why it has expanded the Like button with Reactions: the actions of liking and disliking are both too simple for the vast array of content that's shared on Facebook every day.
"A dislike felt very binary to Mark and the team," Facebook Reactions product manager Sammi Krug told Tech Insider during a recent interview. The "Mark" she referred to is of course Mark Zuckerberg, who assembled a team one year ago to build the feature that is now called Reactions.
Facebook has known that it needs more than a "Like" button for some time. Anyone who's not known how to interact with a post about the death of a loved one or a national tragedy will agree. There are also the cases where a simple "like" doesn't feel enough, like when your best friend gets engaged.
During a Q&A in September 2015, Zuckerberg mentioned that Facebook was working on a "dislike" button. "I think people have asked about the dislike button for many years," he said, adding that Facebook had been working on the feature for awhile and wanted to implement it in a way that didn't feel like you were down-voting a post.
"What they really want is the ability to express empathy," he said of Facebook's near 1.5 billion monthly users. "Not every moment is a good moment."
While Facebook may have been considering a true Dislike button at some point, implementing it in a way that made sense wasn't easy. In a Medium post on Wednesday, Geoff Teehan, Facebook's director of product design, touched on how the team went from a Dislike button to a varied range of emoji Reactions:
This might seem like a pretty straightforward task: Just slap a thumbs down next to the Like button and ship it. It’s not nearly that simple though. People need a much higher degree of sophistication and richness in what choices we provide for their communications. Binary ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ doesn’t properly reflect how we react to the vast array of things we encounter in our real lives.