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Facebook Working on a "Sympathize" Button

By - Source: The Telegraph | B 24 comments

The Telegraph reports that Facebook is currently evaluating a "Sympathetic" button as an alternative to the current "Like" button. If approved, users could instead hit the more appropriate "Sympathetic" button when a friend or family member updates Facebook with a negative post.

The "Sympathize" button is the byproduct of a recent Facebook "hackathon" event, where Facebook engineers gather together and brainstorm new ideas for the popular social network. Past events such as this have produced several popular features including the "Like" button, Facebook Chat and the timeline.

"Some of our best ideas come from hackathons, and the many ideas that don't get pursued often help us think differently about how we can improve our service," a Facebook rep told The Telegraph, adding that hackathons are "the foundation for great innovation and thinking about how we can better serve people around the world."

Dan Muriello, a software engineer at Facebook, told The Telegraph that the feature will not work for every post. To activate the button, Facebook users must update their status with a specific emotion like "sad" or "depressed."  The end result would be that friends and family will now sympathize with the Facebook user rather than liking the comment.

"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."

So far, there's no set date for when the new button will arrive -- there's a possibility that it may never hit Facebook. These hackathons allow the site's engineers to explore out-of-the-box ideas, many of which never make it to the site.

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Top Comments
  • 30 Hide
    fandroid , December 10, 2013 6:06 AM
    They should be working on a thumbs down and/or a who gives a shit button.
  • 12 Hide
    Krisk7 , December 10, 2013 7:09 AM
    *Sees* "Just got married" *hits* Sympathize button
  • 10 Hide
    Parsian , December 10, 2013 6:02 AM
    so no more LIKE button for the "R.I.P" updates?
Other Comments
    Display all 24 comments.
  • 10 Hide
    Parsian , December 10, 2013 6:02 AM
    so no more LIKE button for the "R.I.P" updates?
  • 30 Hide
    fandroid , December 10, 2013 6:06 AM
    They should be working on a thumbs down and/or a who gives a shit button.
  • 1 Hide
    xPandaPanda , December 10, 2013 6:24 AM
    About time. Though, I still disagree with any button for the matter. It never made sense to me why people would "like" when a family member passes away. When it gets a few idiots who press "like," mob mentality kicks in and it starts snowballing. Some even simply text that someone passes away. When someone passes away, the first degree relatives a phone call. Otherwise, respect is when you actually give the time to make a personalized comment. I would not want a 'like,' which is on par with 'liking' a cat video.
  • 0 Hide
    xPandaPanda , December 10, 2013 6:25 AM
    relatives *deserve a phone call.
  • 8 Hide
    expl0itfinder , December 10, 2013 6:31 AM
    So when are they adding the IDGAF button? I feel as though that would be way more useful than any "like" or "sympathize" button.
  • 3 Hide
    thasan1 , December 10, 2013 6:38 AM
    still waiting for negative button's like "downvote" "i don't give a S#!T button" etc it would be epic :D . though "sympathize" button would be of more use when Paul walker or Mandela died. RIP both
  • 12 Hide
    Krisk7 , December 10, 2013 7:09 AM
    *Sees* "Just got married" *hits* Sympathize button
  • 1 Hide
    virtualban , December 10, 2013 7:15 AM
    Facebook has the need to not put a dislike button, because if they do, people will not be compelled to write a comment feedback perpetuating the display of ads, they will be done with just a dislike. If they implement a downvote/dislike button, any negative post can have the like/dislike ratio it deserves and people will not click it, generating less revenue for facebook. As it is currently, any stupid post will still get a bunch of likes anyway. People are the product being sold, not the customer. Don't expect a dislike button that can hurt the feelings of the poster (or that's their excuse). Expect more of the same stuff we have seen always.
  • 3 Hide
    Stimpack , December 10, 2013 7:20 AM
    6 people "feel your pain, bro."
  • 0 Hide
    infernocy , December 10, 2013 8:20 AM
    "which details facebook is able to steal from your account" option in settings ?
  • -4 Hide
    jimmysmitty , December 10, 2013 8:21 AM
    Quote:
    They should be working on a thumbs down and/or a who gives a shit button.


    Ahhh welcome to the PC era where you cannot dislike as that's negativity and the young ones precious fragile minds might not be able to handle it and will go crazy.

    It's a new world. In some schools, kids can't play tag anymore as its too violent while in other states, you now have to be 21 to buy cigarettes as I guess 18 is still not truly an adult. You can go to war and die for your country, but you cannot make a choice to smoke or not. Oh and you still can't play tag at 18 as it's to violent.
  • 0 Hide
    ssalim , December 10, 2013 8:36 AM
    What they didn't tell you is that once you hit the "sympathize" button to that person, all that person's friends and those watching that person will immediately see all your private info. This is a feature of facebook, not a bug.
  • 5 Hide
    digiex , December 10, 2013 8:47 AM
    I "sympathize" to all Facebook users.
  • 2 Hide
    signothorn , December 10, 2013 9:08 AM
    I think it's more about keeping track of posts and topics that you are responsive to, for advertising purposes.
  • 8 Hide
    SonSon1 , December 10, 2013 10:39 AM

    “I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

    ― Albert Einstein
  • 2 Hide
    clonazepam , December 10, 2013 11:13 AM
    ^^ Yep. We're there.
  • 4 Hide
    thundervore , December 10, 2013 11:52 AM
    Where is my damn Dislike button.

    There are tons of people that post "good morning Facebook" that needs to be disliked into oblivion!
  • 3 Hide
    bmwman91 , December 10, 2013 12:11 PM
    "Engineers" work on a sympathize button? Yes that's some real high-tech innovation right there. It definnitely takes the brightest minds that MIT, Stanford and Berkeley can build to come up with earth-shattering awesomeness like the Like button, and now the Sympathize button. Just think of the unbridled jubilation that starving children in Africa will know as westerners pour their sympa-clicks into posts about their plight!!! The UN should divert some funds from food aid to smartphones to that those poor children can see how much people Sympathize with them. Surely the social currency generated from that would far outweigh some mere food calories. It's the new NEW paradigm, man.

    By today's standards for being a "tech company" it looks like Home Depot qualifies since it has a phone app and you can shop online. I mean, you can LOOK at light bulbs, ON YOUR PHONE! How innovative is that? Maybe it only counts as a "tech company" if it lives on VC cash and hires 20-something tech hipsters?
  • 1 Hide
    gm0n3y , December 10, 2013 12:28 PM
    I wish that it was available for every post just so that I could click it for every post about how someone is pregnant. Well if I actually had a Facebook account anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    audiophillia , December 10, 2013 12:36 PM
    i see a lot of thumbs down requests. the reason why the thumbs down button isn't going to be implemented is that it gives more ammunition for cyber bullying which is a real issues for some young people today. Thumbs down is purely negative and not constructive at all.

    The reason why thumbs down work in other setting i.e. Tomshardware, Reddit, etc. is because these sites are focused more on idea and products instead of facebook where it is focused on the real personal lives of people. A thumbs down on Tomshardware is a disagreement with a user opinion or idea. While a thumbs down on a facebook post has the potential to devalue the person itself.

    I am sure some people will hark back to the good old days where childern were forced to toughen up by being bullied and exposed to as much negativity as possible. Which I did face as a child(both bullying and dysfunctional home) and I hope for a better life for the next generation because being exposed to the 'real world' at age of 10 wasn't that great and it didn't make me a better person.

    with one exception, I want a dislike button for ads. I get tired of them. I am not interested in mafia wars.
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