Facebook's 'like' button - which enables the social network's 1.5bn monthly users to approve a post - has become one of its signature features
Facebook's 1.5bn users will soon be able to vent their anger in a new way after the social network revealed it is working on a "dislike" button.
Founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the move at a public Q&A session at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
“People have asked about the dislike button for many years,” the 31-year-old billionaire said. “We’ve finally heard you and we’re working on this and we will deliver something that meets the needs of the larger community.
"We're working on it and are very close to shipping a test of it. We didn't want to just build a dislike button because 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."
"People aren't looking for the ability to downvote people's posts, what they really want is to be able to express empathy.
"Not every moment is a good moment and if you're sharing something sad... then it may not feel comfortable to like that post, but your friends and people want to express that they understand and that they relate to you, so I think it's important to give people more options than 'like' as a quick way to emote and share what they're feeling on a post.
"We have an idea that we think we'll be ready to test soon and depending on how that does we'll be ready to roll it out more broadly."
Facebook's "like" button - which enables its 1.49bn monthly active users to approve a post by someone else - has become one of the website's signature features.
According to Facebook's own figures, 4.5bn "likes" are generated every day, with pop star Shakira the most "liked" person on the site, according to PageData.
A "dislike" button has long been rumoured, with Mr Zuckerberg telling a previous Q&A session in December that the company was considering installing such a feature.
Facebook is expanding its features, such as video, as it seeks to solidify its position as the world's most popular social network.