Facebook is poised to push out the extension to its popular "Like" button called Reactions, which will offer users six different emotions to play around with, in the coming weeks.
The social networking site's Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, who has led the initiative to give a facelift to the Like button, has officially confirmed that Facebook Reactions is set to go global.
For the unfamiliar, Reactions will offer Facebook users alternate options to respond to a Facebook post instead of just the current Like. One may not always want to use Like to respond to certain posts or announcements a user makes, for example, when someone passes away. The option can be quite restrictive and, therefore, the introduction of Reactions will offer more appropriate response options for posts that one really cannot like, allowing a user to engage in the conversation.
So what are the new emotions that Facebook has up its sleeve to give company to the Like button which is synonymous with the site? In a few weeks from now, users can react by using the animated "Wow," "Sad," "Haha," "Love" or "Angry" emotions.
These are the five emotions that made the cut, said Cox. Facebook was also considering the use of "Yay," but even though it was used during testing in the six countries, this emotion did not make the final cut as "it was not universally understood."
Users will be able to access the new Reactions on their smartphones by simply pressing down on the current thumbs-up icon, which will open the new options below it.
So how does the rolling out of new animated emotions or Reactions benefit Facebook you ask? Facebook will be able to gauge the interactions of people, gaining insight into how and what users engage in. The company will be able to sieve what is popular with users and what drives the usage. The Reactions are potentially an effective way to assess the sentiments of the site's users.
The wealth of data Facebook will garner will enable it to gauge the thoughts of users on different kinds of content, which can aid the company to alter a user's News Feed with posts a user is likely to have more engagement with.
The insight on user preferences will also able the company to generate targeted adverts, which translates into better revenue generation for Facebook thanks to the wealth of granular data at its disposal.