While we’re unlikely to ever see a dedicated ‘dislike’ button on Facebook, the social network did start testing a Reddit-style ‘downvote’ button on five percent of US Android users earlier this year. It appears that the trial is proving successful, as it’s being rolled out to more people in other locations.
Several Facebook users in Australia and New Zealand tweeted their surprise at seeing the up and down arrows appearing next to certain comments. As with the US tests, these only show up on public Page posts, not on posts from Groups, public figures, or general users.
Hmmmm. Not sure I like the Upvote and Downvote feature of Facebook. Time will tell I guess. pic.twitter.com/hxvjW7HaTX— BEN SLATER (@iambenslater) April 29, 2018
Facebook wants the upvote option to be used for comments that are helpful or insightful, while the downvote button is for “bad comments” that have “bad intentions or [are] disrespectful.” The company has previously stressed that this isn’t a dislike button, but “a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts.” There’s little doubt, however, that it will also be used as a way of showing disagreement toward a post.
Does Facebook now have some kind of upvote/downvote system? Never seen this before pic.twitter.com/ysscCMq2Mi— ashslay (@ashsparkle) April 29, 2018
Facebook has confirmed the downvote/upvote system’s expansion. "People have told us they would like to see better public discussions on Facebook, and want spaces where people with different opinions can have more constructive dialogue," a Facebook spokesperson said.
"To that end, we're running a small test in New Zealand which allows people to upvote or downvote comments on public Page posts. Our hope is that this feature will make it easier for us to create such spaces, by ranking the comments that readers believe deserve to rank highest, rather than the comments that get the strongest emotional reaction."
While the statement only mentions New Zealand, CNET has confirmed the downvote button’s appearance on certain public pages created in Australia, and, as is the case with the US tests, only in the mobile app. Don’t be surprised to see the system roll out to more users over time.