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Facebook explores adding 'sympathize' button

The Facebook "Like" sign outside headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
Stephen Lam | Getty Images
The Facebook "Like" sign outside headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

Not all news on Facebook is good news, which is why the social media company may eventually add another button to its platform that allows users to do more than just "like" a post.

At Facebook's annual Compassion Research Day, engineer Dan Muriello said that a fellow engineer had created a "sympathize" button while participating at one of the company's hackathons. The news was first reported by The Huffington Post.

Currently on Facebook's platform, users can "like" and share comments on their friends' posts. But users have demanded for awhile an alternate to the "like" button because not all posts on the platform are appropriate to "like."

For example, it's going to get a little awkward if you "like" a post about a breakup or a death in the family. But a sympathize button would enable users to quickly express a more appropriate sentiment on posts that share bad news.

It's important to note, though, that just because the sympathize button was developed doesn't mean it will come to fruition. The company hosts hackathons regularly to come up with new features, but not all ideas are integrated into the platform.

(Read more: Why Snapchat will be big for advertisers: Pro)

"Hackathons are a big tradition at Facebook. They serve as the foundation for great innovation and thinking about how we can better serve people around the world. Some of our best ideas come from hackathons, and the many ideas that don't get pursued often help us think differently about how we can improve our service," a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC in response to a question about the sympathize button.

And while the company has no plans to include the feature at the present time, it's not something it is ruling out.

By CNBC's Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.

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