Facebook May Implement A ‘Sympathize’ Button

Facebook May Implement A ‘Sympathize’ Button

Could we end up with Facebook buttons for a whole range of emotions?

Rachel Pincus
  • 9 december 2013

Facebook’s ‘like’ button pulls a lot of weight. It’s the primary way to react to a post without actually putting your thoughts into words, and thus, the Atlantic observes, ‘likes’ wind up on posts about illness, injury and negative emotions as more of an indicator of ‘I saw this’ than ‘I am fond of this.’

There is a significant push for its binary opposite, a ‘dislike button,’ but it is understandable for Facebook to be hesitant to quantify negativity, its business being built as it is around advertising. (Interestingly, however, the company has an employee ‘karma’ rating internally). Following a business is even referred to as ‘liking,’ even though, if asked, many followers of businesses on Facebook would indicate more complex emotions. Complexity is what Facebook may get if it adds a ‘sympathize button,’ which Facebook engineer Dan Muriello discussed at the company’s annual Compassion Research Day, which is devoted to site features that minimize conflict. The button already exists – an engineer had put the code, which was accompanied with a dropdown list of feelings, together at a previous compassion-themed hackathon.

However, as the world is just getting used to ‘like’ features, which have diffused through many social media platforms like YouTube and Google+, Facebook has decided to hold back on releasing the feature for now. “It would be, ‘five people sympathize with this,’ instead of ‘five people ‘like’ this,'” said Muriello. “Which of course a lot of people were — and still are — very excited about. But we made a decision that it was not exactly the right time to launch that product. Yet.”

It’s understandable, as there could be unexpected implications. Sympathy is just one emotion out of an enormous range that users might start requesting if the button is implemented. One emotion may not be enough.

Facebook Compassion Research Day

Sources: The AtlanticHuffington Post

Image: Shutterstock/ollyy/Facebook via the Atlantic


Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Brand Development Yesterday

Swipe Left On A Dating World Built To Keep You Single And Disconnected

Hinge's VP of Marketing Karen Fein tells us about the service's daring ditch of the swiping culture that's designed to attract advertising revenue, not meaningful connections

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Marvel Comic Tells The Story Of A Heroic Syrian Mother

Madaya Mom is the true tale of a family trapped inside a town for over a year


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail Yesterday

Brooklyn Cafe Lets Customers Pay By The Hour, Not By The Cup

Glasshour is an establishment that provides free coffee and pastries and charges for the time guests spend there

Technology Yesterday

Electric Spoon Changes The Way Food Tastes

The Taste Buddy is being developed to manipulate your taste buds and make everything more delicious

Related Expert

Patrick Bergel

Teaching Machines to Sing

Travel Yesterday

Bike Path In Poland Can Glow For 20 Years Using Solar Power

Cyclists can follow the shimmering blue lanes for better safety each time they ride

Technology Yesterday

Open-Source Toolkit Lets Communities Build Their Own Street Furniture

The Wikiblock database contains 30 blueprints of different neighborhood fixtures including benches, bus stops, and kiosks

Food Yesterday

Tiny Pub Only Has Space For Three People

Make Time For It is a small London pop-up bar that encourages conversation without the distraction of technology


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Community Builder: How to Hack Slack

Claire Wasserman, Founder of Ladies Get Paid, describes how she's using an internal team communication tool to build a network of thousands

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Advertising Yesterday

This Beer Was Brewed Just For Scotch Drinkers

Highland Park Scotch Whisky & Sixpoint Brewery have teamed up to create two limited-edition pairings for New York City boilermakers

Mobile Yesterday

Let An AI Librarian Help Sort Your Digital Bookmarks

A new app uses machine learning to help organize your virtual life

Mobile Yesterday

Pizza Hut Tattoo Lets You Place An Order From Your Body

The latest gimmick from the fast-food chain is a tattoo-like sticker that lets customers get delivery with a simple tap on their arm

Travel Yesterday

Reinvented Bicycle Inspired By Supercar Design

The yellow bike based on a Lamborghini has sharp edges and an aluminum alloy frame

Health Yesterday

Health Platform Gives Perspective On Your Weekly Habits

Gyroscope is a new wellness app that works by amalgamating data about your life into beautifully designed visuals

Beauty Yesterday

Korean Beauty Brand Uses VR To Let Customers Pick Their Ingredients

Innisfree created a unique experience for its Shanghai Disneyland customers with a virtual reality trip to select what goes into their purchase

Arts & Culture Yesterday

3D-Printed Creations Resemble Floating Paper Outlines

Japanese design firm Nendo's exhibition features works that look like sheets of material being folded, torn, and crumpled

Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

No search results found.