Facebook Messenger to add ‘dislike’ button but will stop support for older versions of Android, iOS and Windows app

By @chelean on
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A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013 Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Facebook Messenger could be soon rolling out reaction emojis, including a dislike button, but not everyone can use it. The social media giant’s instant messaging application is set to launch new functions to make chats easier and more enjoyable to sue. However, users with old versions are not invited to join in the fun.

The instant messenger app has announced that it is ending support in some older mobile apps versions in Android and iOS phones. It has instead reached out to affected customers and suggested alternatives of the app, such as updating their app to the latest version, loading an OS update for their device and using Facebook Lite.

It will stop support for Facebook for Android v55 (released Nov. 16, 2015) and Messenger v10 (released Aug. 14, 2014) for Android; Facebook for iPad v26 (released Oct. 10, 2011), Messenger v8 (released July 14, 2014), and Facebook for iOS (released Oct. 10, 2011) for iOS; and Facebook for Windows Phone, Messenger for Windows Phone 8 and 8.1, and Facebook for Windows 8 and 8.1 desktop app for Windows.

“One of the ways we continue to improve is by consistently introducing rich features, like voice and video calling, games, and bots for Messengers. Using older versions of apps means that experiences (sic) won’t work well or sometimes not at all,” Facebook Messenger said in a statement. “As a result, we are asking people who are using older versions to upgrade so they can enjoy more of the delightful features of Messengers.”

Those new features may include new reaction emojis that are already visible on the main Facebook app, such as “heart” and “wow” emojis, as well as one that is yet to appear, namely the long-coveted but long-denied “dislike” button. The social media mammoth confirmed that it is testing the feature to some users earlier this month.

The “dislike” button, a thumbs down emoji as opposite to the thumbs up for “like” button, has been a popular request since the beginning. However, Facebook claimed that a “dislike” could be used to spread negativity on the social media platform, and so it instead launched different reaction emojis to allow users to better express their emotions. With Facebook Messenger now planning to add the thumbs down emoji, it has a different take on the icon, saying it now sees it more as a “no” button rather than a “dislike.”

“We’re always testing ways to make Messenger more fun and engaging,” it told TechCrunch. “This is a small test where we enable people to share an emoji that best represents their feelings on a message.”

It was not clarified when, if ever, the new features will reach all users. The support will stop for those using the old version of Facebook Messenger by the end of March, though.

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