Earlier this year, Facebook confirmed that it would be testing upvote and downvote buttons on public posts, with an aim to improve the quality of comments on the platform. It appears that the new feature is being rolled out to a larger number of users close to home.
While there has been no mention of how many people the upvote and downvote buttons have now been rolled out to, there has been a significant increase of reports from Facebook users over the last twenty-four hours.
WOAH…! Facebook is rolling out its Reddit-style Up / Down votes for comments
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) April 29, 2018
— Isaías Osorio (@TheHassasin) April 30, 2018
Speaking to Gizmodo Australia, a Facebook spokesperson said, “People have told us they would like to see better public discussions on Facebook, and want spaces where people with different opinions can have more constructive dialogue. To that end, we’re running a small test in New Zealand which allows people to upvote or downvote comments on public Page posts.
Our hope is that this feature will make it easier for us to create such spaces, by ranking the comments that readers believe deserve to rank highest, rather than the comments that get the strongest emotional reaction.”
While there have been rumours for years about the implementation of a ‘dislike’ button on Facebook, the new upvote and downvote system seems serve a different purpose – to improve the quality and productivity of comments on public facebook Pages.
Considering that there doesn’t seem to be any plans to remove the the ‘reaction’ options to posts, this would make sense. Facebook users can already react to comments with ‘angry’ and ‘wow’ icons. Why bother doubling down?
That being said, Facebook aren’t the first to utilise a system like this. Upvotes and downvotes are an integral part of the Reddit experience. And while downvoting can be used to flag bad or offensive content, it’s also used as a kind-of dislike button in some cases.
So while Facebook may be optimistic in regards to how this new feature will work, it will be interesting to see how plays out in practice.