On February 24th, Facebook launched an update that would change the way we respond to our friends and family’s posts. It isn’t the ‘dislike’ button we’ve all been craving but founder Mark Zuckerberg did us one better. Introducing Facebook Reactions, a set of five new feelings to express what you think about a post. The Reactions are love, wow, ha-ha, sad, and angry.
How does it work?
Facebook reactions are available now both on the Facebook app and desktop website. To pull up the unique Reactions, you simply have to hold down the like button and scroll across to which reaction you want to apply (or hover over the like button if you are using a desktop). While these five new reactions are quite basic, the process of figuring out which reactions to create was quite complex. The Facebook team spent a year surveying users to see what they wanted to see happen with the like button, and considering which reactions would best translate across cultures around the globe.
In explaining why these reactions were chosen, Zuckerberg wrote “Not every moment you want to share is happy. 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.” So far, according to collected data, the ‘love’ reaction is the most used reaction in every country. The Facebook team says there’s room in the future for more reactions, but we don’t believe a dislike button is coming anytime soon.
How can we use it?
Facebook reactions has the potential to be a great tool in analyzing feedback on paid and earned media. Instead of consumers simply ‘liking’ a post, we can better gauge their feelings towards it. If they ‘love’ it, we know to push more content that is similar; if they are ‘angry’ about the post, we can derive that we should potentially switch up our approach. There’s also an opportunity to create interactive content that the consumer could ‘react’ too in a more direct manner via this new functionality. For example, if we shared a video including a call to action to ‘love,’ ‘wow,’ ‘haha,’ or ‘like’ the video, the consumer action will correspond directly to the ask. The potential for this is similar to BuzzFeed’s take on reactionary icons that has become engrained in their DNA.