Like the Changes? Facebook Introduce ‘Reactions‘
In a move that’s sure to provoke its own response, Facebook have released their ‘reactions’ feature to the world. Offering an additional five responses to the traditional ‘Like’ button, the changes are now expected to take a few days to rollout.
Following on from widespread testing in selected countries, the five new animated emoji chosen as reactions are ‘wow, ‘haha’, ‘sad’, love’ and ‘angry’. Facebook felt that alongside the traditional option to ‘like’ a post, these were the emotions that held the most universal appeal.
The changes were deemed necessary as the social king ‘want people to be able to share all the things that are meaningful to them, not just the things that are happy and that people are going to ‘Like’’.
The move represents something of a change of heart from Facebook, after Mark Zuckerberg revealed that testing was at an advanced stage surrounding a long-anticipated ‘dislike’ button last September. That has since been deemed to be too negative.
How Will This Affect My News Feed?
Having decided to go a different way with the reactions feature, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained:
“Sometimes you want to share something sad or frustrating. Our community has been asking for a dislike button for years, but not because people want to tell friends they don't like their posts. People wanted to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions."
With the new move now in motion, users are already speculating how the changes will affect their own news feed. Traditionally, liking posts has been recognised by the Facebook algorithm as a signal that similar content should be displayed in your feed.
In light of this, you can reasonably expect to see more of the posts that you show anger towards as well. Given that this presents something of a conundrum for some users, Facebook have confirmed that alterations may be made to the formula used to work out which posts to display.
One thing that has already been confirmed is that posts from companies and brands won’t be exempt from the new reactions. This has to be viewed as a positive move by Facebook, given that it will make the platform more genuine.
To use the new feature simply hover over the ‘like’ button on a desktop computer – or hold it down on a mobile or tablet.
How Do I React?!
Love them or hate them, emoji are here to stay. Transcending generations, they’re now used as the tool of choice to help visualise feelings that are otherwise deemed unexplainable in words. Or for those moments when typing just seems too much effort.
For those of you who are terrified of reacting in the wrong way – or if you’re someone who thinks that ‘six reactions just aren’t enough!’ - here are a few fun ways you can use Facebook’s top table of emoji selections.
Wow – Great for genuine enthusiasm. The ‘wow’ button is perfect for expressing genuine amazement at your friends’ personal lives. Or, if you’re of the more cynical variety, why not use it to visualise your befuddlement at some of the more cringe worthy posts that appear in your feed.
Sad – Perhaps the closest of the reactions to Facebook’s original aim when testing the dislike button, the ‘sad’ emoji is likely to be used by users to express empathy towards other friends' personal announcements. Or you could always just share a nice thought.
Love – Beware of this one. Elevating your ‘likes’ to dizzy new heights, the ‘love’ button is surely the ultimate seal of approval. One for the positive types.
Haha – Even for those less interested in the new reactions, the ‘haha’ could actually prove pretty useful. Sometimes things are so funny that this one could actually work well.
Angry – Ideal for those moments where you feel incredulous with anger but realise that it’s probably best not to vent it in words on social media. Also good for expressing general outrage or muted dismay at those unwanted ‘tags’ from your friends.
Hopefully these tips will help guide you through the minefield that is the emoji world ;)