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Facebook ‘Sympathize’ Button Being Tested

The iconic Facebook ‘like’ button has been clicked billions of times to help people quickly express agreement, admiration, joy and many other emotions.  Many people have been begging the social giant to offer an option for people to ‘dislike’ a post as well, but it doesn’t seem like it is ever going to happen.  According to a couple of Facebook employees, however, it does look like there may be at least one additional option, and that is to ‘sympathize’ with a post.

It often happens when people post comments in their news feed, but you don’t know whether you should like it or not.  Comments like “I got in a car accident, everyone’s ok” can be quite confusing.  Do you like it, because everyone is OK, and you want to express the fact that you’re happy about their safety?   Or do you just ignore it since a car accident is clearly not something to be liking, but then the person may not feel like you even saw the post.  You can always write out a comment on the post, but that takes a lot more time, which basically defeats the purpose of the like button.

Facebook employees have said that there are tests being conducted for a sympathize button, which would only appear when people post on their status with feelings like sad, depressed and other ‘negative’ emotions.  The “Feeling” option was fully implemented over the past year, and it has really caught on with many users.  Adding the sympathize button may also encourage more people to use those feelings.

There is no word on whether or not this new button will ever be actually implemented into their system though, so don’t get too excited.  The fact that they are even considering it, however, will give some people hope that there will someday be additional options available.

If the sympathize button was used, however, what type of impact could that have on marketing efforts.  It doesn’t make sense to advertise a ‘how to snuggle kittens’ advertisement on a page that has 100 sympathize clicks on it, for example.  Or..Maybe that is the perfect place to advertise.  It is really hard to say, but it would surely be something marketers will need to consider if this button is ever added.

Pesach Lattin
Pesach Lattin
Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pesach Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.


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