If you’re like me, you’ve often wished that Facebook had a “Dislike” button for posts that simply irritate you. Or maybe for those times when a sad event occurs in a friend’s life and you want to express your sympathy through an emotion other than “Like.”
Soon, Facebook will be granting your wishes. A new feature will allow users to select how they feel about a certain status by selecting from 200 different feeling/emoticon combinations, or even typing any emotion imaginable and pairing it with one of our choosing.
The list of emoticons will include feelings like “great,” “wonderful,” and “loved,” as well as some darker moods like “ashamed,” “alone,” “guilty,” “angry,” and “lost.”
Take a look at your Facebook feed right now. I bet that you can find at least one friend in your News Feed who’s all too excited about sharing their worst feelings and experiences. In fact, I’d venture to say that some Facebook users are obsessed with sharing their negative thoughts on the network – perhaps in hopes they will gain consolation from a network of supporters. Undoubtedly, Facebook has realized this too, and knows that this new feature will be instantly compelling to the doldrum dwellers that lurk around the network hour-on-the-hour.
And this context is of course valuable to Facebook’s business users. Emotions are one component of a Social Graphable suite of six newly taggable verbs (feeling, watching, reading, listening to, eating, and drinking) that the social network is adding as an option to all posts. In the same way that Facebook can track if you’re watching Breaking Bad or ordering sushi, it will also be able to track if you’re feeling “lonely,” and who knows what it will decide to do with that information.