Facebook Expands Its Like Button With The Launch Of 'Reactions'
When scrolling through Facebook's News Feed, users probably feel awkward about "liking" a post that features something sad or shocking. Some users go ahead and like the post anyway to show they agree or are sending their sympathies to their friends, but others avoid engaging in that specific post.
Facebook understands this, and has been working for more than a year to develop alternatives to the popular "like" button. And now the new options have finally arrived.
The social media network announced on Wednesday the launch of "Reactions," an extension of the like button that features other emojis to better express how a post in the News Feed makes users feel.
Instead of quickly liking a post, Facebook users can now hover over the like button on their desktop or hold down the button on mobile to bring up the reaction images (just make sure to update the Facebook app). There are six different animated Reactions that include: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry.
The decision to expand the like button came after users requested a "dislike" button so they could still show support for their friends, say when they post about a death in their family, since liking that post doesn't seem appropriate. Although the new Reactions aren't exactly a dislike button, users will now be able to instead send the crying emoji.
Facebook's product manager Sammi Krug revealed in a blog post announcing the new feature that the company has spent more than a year conducting global research to see which types of reactions users would want to use the most. During it's testing "Yay" and "Confused" emojis were introduced, but they did not make the final cut.
For those companies, brands and Page owners who monitor who many likes their posts get, they don't have to worry about missing out if a user taps on the "Love" or "Wow" buttons. Facebook's News Feed algorithm will count reactions in the same way it counts likes.
"Over time we hope to learn how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by News Feed to do a better job of showing everyone the stories they most want to see," Krug writes in a second blog post.
Reactions can be good for businesses, as they might be able to better see how Facebook users are responding to their content.
Facebook has been testing Reactions since last year in select markets, including users in Ireland, Spain and Japan. The new "like" button emojis are now available to all Facebook users.