As Facebook users know all too well, there are times when the like button just won't do. You may want to show solidarity with your friends in times of misfortune, but decreeing you 'like' a status update about sad news such as a breakup – or worse – hardly sends out the right message.
Well, perhaps an alternative could be on the horizon.
As first reported by the Huffington Post, Facebook engineer Dan Muriello revealed at a conference last week that one of his colleagues had created a 'sympathise' button at one of the company's compassion-themed hackathons.
A number of innovations have emerged from similar hackathons in the past, including the Facebook Chat service and even the original like button itself.
Muriello hinted at enthusiasm for the sympathise feature within Facebook, but warned not to expect it any time soon.
He told the audience: "A lot of people were very excited about it, but we made a decision that it was not exactly the right time to launch that product."
Facebook users have long lamented the limitations of the like button and clamoured for more ways to express themselves on the site. Despite repeated efforts, however, the social network has always resisted calls to introduce a dislike button.