Haters Get Their Own Facebook App

Discussion
Mar 28, 2012

Ever come across a person, product or company page on Facebook and wish you had something decidedly more negative to click than a "Like" button? Well, now there’s a Facebook app for that called EnemyGraph, which allows you to make your dislike known.

Dean Terry, a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, worked with two students who created the app. "One thing that has always struck me is the enforced niceness culture," he told Mashable. "We wanted to give people a chance to express dissonance as well. We’re using the word enemy about as accurately as Facebook uses the word friend."

Prof. Terry suggested that EnemyGraph has value to marketers.

"We are generating a whole new set of personal data that could potentially be mined," he wrote on his personal blog. "I found it a compelling tool for self expression, at least as powerful as the likes list on your Facebook profile page. Often, it tells you a great deal about a person in a way that an affirmative list can not."

Of course, Prof. Terry doesn’t really expect EnemyGraph to have a lasting effect. He sees Facebook shutting it down at some point because the app doesn’t fit with the social site’s mission.

As of 6:50 a.m. today, EnemyGraph had 4,000 users on Facebook with 1,021 Likes. However, the app page appeared to be inaccessible.

Discussion Questions: Would retailers and other marketers find value in a social media app that showed what consumers dislike as much as like? Would the downside of being labeled on an app like EnemyGraph outweigh the potential benefits for most companies?

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18 Comments on "Haters Get Their Own Facebook App"

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Joel Rubinson
BrainTrust

Actually, I have felt the same way. If this took off, it actually would have insights value, like sentiment scoring from social media. IF….

Max Goldberg
BrainTrust

Consumers have no trouble making their displeasure known via social media. Is the EnemyGraph more than an interesting gimmick?

Nikki Baird
BrainTrust

The things that people don’t like are just as valuable as the things that people like. And why guess or infer? Why not ask them? From that perspective, I think it’s brilliant.

I think the only drawback to EnemyGraph is — how do you work with the “enemied” brands to help them resolve their issues? Because the flip side to all this, and I think most people understand and empathize, is that no one likes to have all their dirty laundry aired publicly. You can’t make everyone love you, but Google, at least, never forgets. So if someone hates your brand but you’ve fixed it, their complaints should either vaporize or at least be amended to reflect what the brand has done.

David Slavick
Guest
David Slavick
5 years 6 months ago

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Listen just as closely to negative comments as positive. Brilliant, now make the app/site work, eh?

David Zahn
Guest

Not sure what culture Professor Terry is referring to when he comments about “enforced niceness.” Has he seen the vituperative attacks that occur in social media? Nevertheless, the question of whether or not there is value in understanding why people are turned off, dislike, or have issues with a brand/company is obvious. There is tremendous value in understanding where one has missed or never was under consideration.

David Biernbaum
BrainTrust

The negative button is not good for brands or marketers no matter what spin you want to put on this application. I’m pushing my “dislike” button on this idea right now. It will become a haven for all the wrong people pushing the wrong buttons.

John Boccuzzi, Jr.
Guest
John Boccuzzi, Jr.
5 years 6 months ago

I am not sure I totally agree with Professor Terry that we live in an “enforced niceness culture”. On the contrary, I believe US media (news, magazines, newspapers, web sites, TV shows and movies) have moved in just the opposite direction.

Top stories/shows generally tend to focus on bad or “scary” news/topics. Facebook is a very interesting social experiment that has allowed people to reconnect and support things they “like” and believe in. Companies are just now learning how to participate and become part of the conversation. Creating an “EnemyGraph” may not encourage individuals and or companies to continue to explore the opportunity on Facebook. Maybe it’s just the name that is throwing me off. I do believe that Facebook gives people an outlet to share feedback (sometimes negative and usually constructive) with individuals and companies already. Not sure we need another “enemy” in the world. Maybe they can rebrand the concept and call it the “opportunity graph”.

Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

Apparently Facebook says DISLIKE….

Ken Lonyai
BrainTrust

There are numerous places for people to express their dislike or hate for products, brands, and companies. This one may add more convenience and has the potential to reach a broader audience — that’s all. In contrast, there are a growing number of tools for brands “to listen” to the negative chatter and work to minimize its impact. The reality is, no matter how many expressions and counter-expressions (damage control efforts) there are, most companies DO NOT GET IT! They apparently feel ignorance is bliss or that ignoring customer dissatisfaction is OK.

So to answer the question posed here: for most brands, that truly do not respond to customer dissatisfaction, the app is irrelevant. Smart brands (like Comcast) have learned how to use consumer issues to spin positivity (when they can). Most brands though, are ignorant of and even defensive with unhappy customers, and a few will even engage in negative public responses.

Yes… I have lots of experience in this, my job is to create amazing consumer experiences!

Lee Kent
BrainTrust

I believe that this type of app would provide valuable information, however, to keep it from becoming a bash box, they need to add some gaming fun to the app that will give the brands a way to make some amends while being fun about it.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

I demand an Apathy App for the staggering number of products, companies, causes and opinions I don’t care enough about to either “Like” or “Hate.” If such an app existed, I’d probably use it when evaluating the EnemyGraph.

Digital marketers do in fact push the notion of positive response. The good professor is correct that if you can “Like” you should be able to “Dislike” — as opposed to “Unlike.” By the same token, digital marketers like Amazon make it easier to give someone a positive rating than it is to give them a negative rating, requiring a rationale for the numerical score.

Marketers could learn from the EnemyGraph — but it opens the doors to viral digital rating spamming by competitors, so the results would still be wide open for interpretation.

This is all so tiring … I have to get back to developing that Apathy App. — “Like”…”Hate” … “Don’t Care” — I vote for Number Three.

Ronnie Perchik
Guest
Ronnie Perchik
5 years 6 months ago

What particularly resonated in this piece was the standard set of the, “enforced niceness culture.” When it comes to the Like button, Facebook indeed hasn’t provided users with buttons to demonstrate more than one emotion about something. But, through commenting, users can certainly convey discontent, and the character limit allows them to get pretty wordy with it.

When it comes to analytics, gathering Likes is much easier than using a complicated algorithm to understand comments and spit out data on sentiment. So this social media app certainly provides a new set of data on consumer response, and yes, marketers can find value in understanding the whole picture.

The downside? That people click “Don’t Like” more often than “Like” when it comes to your brand. But ultimately that’s up to the brand to ensure consumers are happy.

Tracey Croughwell
Guest
Tracey Croughwell
5 years 6 months ago

It doesn’t strike me as particularly useful. First, let’s distinguish between the different “likes” — there is liking a person’s comment or status update, which is a way to express support, without having to add your own comment. It’s sort of a passive show of support, and it comes in handy when you don’t have much to add except to say “I agree.” A “dislike” button for status updates would be helpful in the same regard — to passively show you don’t agree with a statement.

However, liking a *page* is totally different. You’re consciously showing the world that you support that company, and you’re agreeing to see the company’s updates in your feed. If you actively dislike a page/company, you can still go to their wall and write a negative comment, or send them a message. So I don’t really see any added value to the app. I get a lot more information from negative comments or emails, whether they’re in FB, Twitter or elsewhere, because they put context around the dislike.

Mel Kleiman
BrainTrust

I love the idea as a consumer, and I would love the idea as a retailer if I was truly striving to be customer focused. If I did not have a customer focus, I could learn to hate the idea.

I have often liked companies just because it was the only way to send them a message about how bad they were.

One of the companies on the top of my list right now would be United Airlines. They have recently gone from BAD to WORST.

Phil Rubin
BrainTrust
5 years 6 months ago

There is arguably as much, if not more value in knowing who your brand’s detractors are (and why) as there is in knowing who its advocates are. Likewise there is huge value in winning back unhappy customers, just as those customers also present an opportunity for competitors.

Ralph Jacobson
BrainTrust

People can post directly on brands’ pages or anywhere else in the social channels and get their opinions known without any need for this app.

Matthew Keylock
Guest
Matthew Keylock
5 years 6 months ago

Marketers too often ignore the negatives. For instance a 20% response rate is rarely looked at as an 80% non-response (failure?) rate. Knowing what works and what doesn’t and what people like and dislike are all really powerful insights. While I don’t fully support the approach taken as I understand it, I do think marketers should be seeking to source and understand negative impacts and sentiments.

Joe Nassour
Guest
Joe Nassour
5 years 6 months ago

It is more important for retailers to know where their problems are, than to get praise. When a problem is discovered, then it could be corrected.

If you correct the problem for consumer A then you can corrected for all the other consumers who did not complain.

A standard benchmark is for every one consumer that complains, 1,000 other consumers are unhappy but do not complain.

The dislike feature is a way for retailers to confront any problems and show how they plan to fix the issue. Remember how Domino’s addressed their consumers’ perception.

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