How Valuable is a Dislike?

Have you ever seen a post on Facebook which provoked a strong reaction, but you didn’t feel comfortable using the like button to express how you felt about it?

Well, the good news is, Mark Zuckerberg has you covered. Or he will do very soon.

Facebook have announced that they have begun testing the introduction of a “dislike button”, of sorts, to the platform and are close to including it for use in selected user profiles. Mark Zuckerberg was cautious about what exactly the test would mean, saying this at a recent public Q&A session:

People have asked about the dislike button for many years, and probably hundreds of people have asked about this, and today is a special day because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it.


We don’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts. That doesn’t seem like the kind of community we want to create: You don’t want to go through the process of sharing some moment that was important to you in your day and have someone “downvote” it.


If you are sharing something that is sad … then it may not feel comfortable to like that post

What is most interesting for advertisers, however, is how this could impact campaign strategy if it were to be implemented on the platform permanently. Would the ability to target people based on their “dislikes” be made available to advertisers?

Another intriguing possibility is the dislike button leading to higher CTRs because people were empowered to express negative opinions on ads more easily, meaning the audiences themselves improving the targeting of marketers ads by eliminating mismatches between ad and user. This function is currently available to users of course, but as the image below shows, the process is not as streamlined as clicking a dislike button, so the interaction rates would probably be very different if this was to be introduced for promoted posts.

facebook dislike selections


A dislike button could also be factored into a CPM ad pricing strategy, where users who disliked a post were not included from the CPM charge, in a similar way to what Google does with YouTube True View advertising.

For organic Facebook campaigns too, the dislike button could provide a valuable way to judge audience reactions, on top of usual likes/comments/shares metrics. Until the format is properly unveiled, and how it will fit into the promoted post system is discussed, then this is all speculation of course, especially as Mark Zuckerberg has not yet confirmed if the dislike button will be applied to promoted posts or organic posts only. However, it certainly raises some interesting ideas about what is next to come for advertising on Facebook.

Do you have any thoughts or wish lists for how a dislike button on Facebook could be used for marketing purposes? Drop our social media team a line to discuss them or let us all know in the comments section below!

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