He recognised that there is a lot of content that is now uploaded to Facebook, and that matters to people, that feels simply wrong to "like".What they need, he said, is a way for us to connect and respond to the news of someone passing away, to the tragedies and injustices in the world.So, much more likely is something similar to an empathy button.

An empathy button will, first, of course, allow Facebook to understand you better.

Facebook’s enormous value – around $240 billion at last count - is due to the unthinkably large mound of consumer data that it sits on.

Every interaction, post, like and friend you make is put together to build a remarkably rich, and constantly updating picture of who you are, and what you’re interested in.

“Today is a special day” declared Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a live "in-person townhall" event.

Almost casually, he dropped a bombshell that has ignited technology commentators overnight: Facebook is getting a new button. It almost certainly will not be a "dislike" button.

The widespread news is that Facebook will twin "like" with "dislike", long one of the most popular suggestions from Facebook users.

However, if you actually listen to what Zuckerberg said, he rules this out: “we didn’t wanna just build a dislike button…[where] people were voting up or down people’s posts…what they really want is an ability to express empathy”.

They are looking for emotions other than a jocular thumbs-up to tie people to their platform and have rolled out a series of features recently to do this.

"On this Day" is Facebook’s nostalgia-inducing feature that lets you look back at past memories (on Facebook).