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Facebook experimenting with a Sympathise button

Facebook has said it is experimenting with a Sympathise button to complement the existing Like button.

Although the heavily anticipated Dislike button may never be introduced to Facebook, it seems the company is developing an alternative, known as the Sympathise button.

According to a Facebook engineer, the social network is experimenting with the Sympathise button as an alternative to Like.

For many years, Facebook users have actively campaigned for a Dislike button, or some other way to respond to people’s statuses with a less positive sentiment. This is especially relevant for when Likes become inappropriate, such as for breakups, deaths or other bad days.

The Sympathise button was originally devised by an engineer during a Facebook Hackathon, said Dan Muriello, a separate engineer for Facebook.

According to Muriello, if someone tagged their status with a negative emotion like “depressed” or “sad”, the Like button would be transformed into Sympathise.

Muriello said the Sympathise button was very well received by Facebook users, but isn’t something that is on the immediate agenda for Facebook.

“It would be, ‘five people sympathise with this’, instead of ‘five people ‘like’ this’, 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”, said Muriello.

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