Should there be a Facebook Dislike Button?

lessons from our LAB

October 2, 2010

Should there be a Facebook Dislike Button?

Our Digital Scientists are made up of tech-loving, results-oriented, passionate, digital marketing nerds who have an unnatural obsession with all things digital. Most likely seen glued to a screen and spewing new digital marketing trends.


As this amazing digital age continues to adapt to our every want and need, we are approaching the new frontier within web 3.0. This new evolution allows users to utilize a customized web experience, unique to each and every individual. It is molded to each user’s specific interests and helps fully utilize what the Internet has to offer by helping connect people with the products, events, and media they are most interested in. This allows for a more unique, personalized web experience that offers more value to users and businesses alike.

Leading the way in this new personalized web undertaking is Facebook. Its “Like” button has changed the web forever by allowing users to map out their interests all over the Internet and connect them all through one medium. This allows for a smarter, more social Internet that is customized to be precisely what each user is looking for. Many websites such as and have begun to insert plugins and widgets which have helped dramatically increase traffic. These programs allow users to “Like” things on their website, see which of their friends are interested in the same pages, and even get recommendations from friends directly. Obtaining advice on websites straight from the people you know and value makes the experience much more personal and trustworthy.

This allows businesses a better way to understand customers and how they interact with the website. It also helps improve the relevancy and effectiveness of advertisements through that better understanding of interests. For example, if you “Like” Bob’s Beer Bar, you’ll receive information about their upcoming events, discounted deals, and special offers. As a customer, you receive preferred treatment from the bar. In turn, the bar gains insight into your interests and needs and also your continued patronage. The bar will most likely increase their customer base too.

That’s because when you “Like” the bar, your friends will see this and if they’re interested, they’ll “Like” the bar also. In this way, the customer base of the bar can increase exponentially. Additionally, when consumers “Like” certain places and things, it helps creates a virtual mapping and networking of the internet that allows marketers and businesses to better understand and reach their targeted consumers. Overall, the “Like” button is a very innovative way to provide more value and trust through your website and business processes which enhances the user’s experience and perception.

While these advancements in web usability and convenience have greatly improved the way people use the Internet, there is something to be said about the possibility of a “Dislike” button. As an avid user of Facebook I know many of my friends wish there was a “Dislike” button to use on some of their friends statuses and media to provide an equal opportunity to disapprove of something in the same way they approve of it. Personally, I believe this has some serious merit. In my own use of Facebook I am constantly bombarded by suggestions from Facebook of pages my friends like. For instance, Facebook suggests to me that I should “Like” Dr. Pepper because some of my friends do. If I do hit the “Like” button, then I become a Dr. Pepper fan and receive privileges from that vendor.

But let’s say, I don’t like Dr. Pepper, in fact, let’s say I hate Dr. Pepper and I never want to see another ad by them again…that’s where the “Dislike” button would come in handy. I could just hit the “Dislike” button and voila, Dr. Pepper is gone from my personalized web experience. But because a “Dislike” button is NOT available, I must continue to be blasted by Dr. Pepper. While in all actuality I do enjoy Dr. Pepper, I do not want to “Like” it on Facebook as I see no benefit of it. These inconveniences and annoyances cause me to actually think less of the brand over time as I begin to associate Dr. Pepper with frustration and irritation.

While perhaps some of this frustration comes from the way Facebook has set up its interface, I feel a “Dislike” button could be a good solution to problems such as these. It could be a good way for businesses to track what people think of their brand and the products they offer from both positive and negative aspects. It gives both companies and users a way to decide what people like and dislike from trusted sources. I think the addition of a comment section when something is disliked would be a good way to understand the specific reasons why someone rejects of one thing over another.

I feel that the continuous improvements of the way users interact with the Internet is aiding in the progression and evolution of web 3.0. The ability to express ourselves, whether it is positively or negatively, and to gain input and value from others in all extensions of the web is a very powerful development that is reshaping the future of business and marketing as we know it. So what do you think? Do you see a "dislike" button coming out anytime soon?

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