Facebook To Add Dislike Button, Video Chat

If today’s Townhall Q&A with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is any indication, we can soon expect some big changes in our Internet lives, both on and off Facebook.

“I think people have asked about the dislike button for many years,” Zuckerberg said. “Today is a special day because today is the day I can say we’re working on it and shipping it.”

He went on to explain that the reasoning behind the new Facebook function is to provide users with an appropriate public response to uncomfortable news. “What they really want is the ability to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment,” he said.

Reflecting the nuance in emotion, the so-called ‘dislike’ button will give users an as-of-yet unknown alternative to ‘like’ when it is revealed to the world.

Another development in the works is the much-anticipated video chat in Facebook Messenger, which spells a potential disturbance in the face-to-face chatting ecosystem currently dominated by Skype and Apple’s FaceTime.

Zuckerberg also hinted that somewhat further out is the rise of virtual reality (VR) in the media landscape. Mainstream immersive VR could become a reality in 10 years, he said, a sign that last year’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR could pay off in the long run.

For its part, Facebook expects to ship Oculus VR headsets in early 2016. The company is also currently working on bringing a VR app to Apple and Android smartphones.

Watch the full Q&A in a video Mark Zuckerberg posted afterwards on his Facebook page:

Townhall Q&A: September 15, 2015

Here’s the video from today’s Townhall Q&A at Facebook. People from around the world asked questions about education, science, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, my future daughter and of course the dislike button. It was great to hear everyone’s questions and feedback. Thanks for watching!

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, September 15, 2015