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Facebook Devises ‘Sympathize’ Button As Alternative To ‘Like’ Button

Facebook is looking into an alternative way to develop an array of responses people can make to friends’ posts.

If a user chose a negative emotion from Facebook's list of feelings in a status update, then the "like" button would be changed to “sympathize.”

According to BBC News, during a Facebook hackathon event Thursday, an engineer said that the idea for the “sympathize” button had been developed as part of an internal project.

But he later went on to say the company has decided it is not the right time to launch it at the moment.

Facebook was holding a public event called "compassion research day" where researchers are invited along to "improve [Facebook's] understanding of the driving forces and benefits of compassion.”

During a question and answer session a member of the audience asked if Facebook had thought about changing the "like" button when it became inappropriate when someone posts about a breakup, a death of a family member or even just a terrible day.

The Huffington Post reports that Dan Muriello, a software engineer at Facebook, said another engineer had held a hackathon project "a while back" to change the "like" button to “sympathise.”

It would not work for every post he said but if you tag a status with certain emotions from a fixed list then the "like" button would change.

“A lot of people were very excited,” he said. “But we made a decision that it was not exactly the right time to launch that product. Yet.”

Facebook hackathons are events where the company's staffers have a chance to get together and brainstorm new ideas.

Facebook Chat and the "friend suggester" features were both developed from work at these events. 


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