Looking back at an original Facebook page, or even one from a few years in, the social network has come a long way when it comes to interaction and the variety of ways content can be shared. Since its IPO in May 2012, it has had to go even further to convince the investment and business world that its platform is the best possible way for users to not only communicate with friends, family and colleagues, but also brands around the world. For a conventional post, a Facebook user has the options to “like”, “comment” or “share”. Soon, however, the community will be able to “dislike” whatever they so please. Explaining why it has taken so long to introduce the feature, Zuckerberg said in the Q&A: “It took us a while to get here as we didn’t want to just build a ‘dislike button’ [and] turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up and down on people’s posts.”
He went on to say that, over the years, he and his team at Facebook have come to understand that users aren’t looking to do that but rather express empathy. “Not every moment is a good moment and if you are sharing something sad then you may not feel comfortable ‘liking’ that post,” he added. “But your fiends and people want to be able to express they understand and relate to you, so I do think it is important to give people more options than just ‘like’ to emote and share feelings on a post.” Revealing that it is actually “surprisingly complicated” to develop an interaction that Facebook wants to be that simple, an idea has been produced that will be ready to test soon and then rolled out more broadly if deemed to be a success. Read more about Facebook and business:
However, in the same week that Facebook revealed a significant update to its Pages for businesses, is enough being done to illicit the kind of responses and interaction that companies desire? Richard Jones, CEO of digital engagement platform EngageSciences, believes the move doesn’t go far enough as users are still limited in the way that they can engage with brands and content. “We think that Facebook [go] further, as simple ‘Like’ and ‘Dislike ‘buttons are still very limited. Social networks are platforms for expression, and permitting users to only interact with brands in such a binary way impedes this,” he added. “The next logical step would be to introduce an emoji-based system where opinion is respected and celebrated so users can express a true range of emotions.” More and more investment is being ploughed into firms’ visibility on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Many see it as more important than the company’s actual site, but customers must be given as many tools as possible to feed back – whether it is positive or negative. A choice between “like” or “dislike” surely doesn’t give businesses enough to go on when it comes to measuring the success of a particular marketing push. Like Shazam has done when it comes to consumers interacting with adverts on TV, Facebook must keep innovating to convince companies that Facebook should be the first port of call for a brand. By Hunter Ruthven
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