Here’s some news Facebook users will “like”: the social media site is considering adding a less-jolly alternative to the Like button. Facebook is experimenting with an option for a “sympathize” button on status updates, according to a company engineer.
“It would be, ‘five people sympathize with this,’ instead of ‘five people ‘like’ this,’” engineer Dan Muriello said. “Which of course a lot of people were—and still are—very excited about.”
Indeed, Facebook users have campaigned for an alternative to the Like button for years, hoping for a way to show support for friends’ updates about events like breakups, losing jobs, or deaths in a more appropriate way.
Here’s how the “sympathize” button would work: If a user tags a status with a negative feeling from Facebook’s existing list of emotion options, such as “sad,” “tired,” “annoyed,” “angry,” “sick,” “irritated,” “bored,” or “guilty,” the Like button would automatically turn into a “sympathize” button.
The new button was created at a recent Facebook hackathon (an event where employees are encouraged to come up with creative new features), the Huffington Post reports. Hackathons have been where features like Facebook’s Chat, friend suggestions, Timeline profiles, and the Like button itself, originated.
But as exciting as this new feature would be, Facebook isn’t ready to roll it out quite yet. “We made a decision that it was not exactly the right time to launch that product. Yet,” Muriello said.