If you’ve noticed a new “downvote” option under comments on Facebook pages you view, congratulations! You’re part of Facebook’s newest test. The company is experimenting their new downvote button with 5% of Android users in the United States with the English language set as their default. This newest feature is in-line with their effort to combat fake news throughout their feed.
Similar to Reddit’s famous system of upvoting and downvoting, Facebook is testing a downvote of their own. It’s designed to provide Facebook with a signal indicating that a user views the selected content as inappropriate, uncivil, or misleading. While you can use social signals tools to see how users are interacting with your posts, the downvote button will provide Facebook with similar feedback.
Instead of the company monitoring the news feed, determining whether or not content is misleading is in the hands of the users. This short-term test is only being conducted on a limited set of public Page post comment reels across the social media platform. Posts within Groups or public figures or users will not be given the downvote option during this trial period.
However, the downvote button it is not to be confused with a dislike button that many have been wishing for. Facebook continues to distance itself from implementing a dislike button in anticipation of it creating a negative environment. In 2016, the company tried to appease users by rolling out “reactions.” These reactions include Love, Wow, Haha, Sad, and Angry.
The downvote option is creating a new playing field. When the downvote button is selected under a comment, that selected comment is hidden. Once clicked, the user has the option of categorizing the comment as offensive, misleading, or off-topic. Unlike a “like” or a “reaction,” users won’t be able to see how many downvotes each comment gets. Downvoting doesn’t affect rankings of the comment, post, or Page. However, it will show the most interesting and popular comments at the top of a thread, which is intended to create a more fulfilling user interaction.
Earlier this year, Facebook changed its algorithm to prioritize posts shared by friends and family, ultimately reducing the number of posts seen from brands and media outlets. This change is aimed at promoting meaningful interactions between users. The new algorithm combined with the downvote button will give Facebook insight on what type of content its users crave. The power is now in your hands — good luck!
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