Unless you’ve been living in a wifi-free cave for the past few weeks, you can’t have failed to notice the new Facebook Reactions that have been rolled out. Although all we really asked for was a ‘Dislike’ button, Facebook has now given us the chance to express our feeling towards the latest baby picture/overshare/Minion meme. Now we can use “Love”,”Wow,” “Sad,” “Haha,” “Angry,” and, of course, the classic “Like”. Each reaction is also given a cute, animated Facebook emoji and, at least while the novelty is still very much there, they’re kind of fun.
What’s it all for?
These new options are available on both the mobile (just hold your finger over “Like” and the rest will appear) and desktop (hover over “like” to see the other options). They now make it easier to show support, or sympathy towards someone without having to awkwardly “Like” a post about a dead pet…
Using these new reactions, you’ll be able to see whether people “Love” the fact that you got a promotion, or just “Like” it. You can cry “Haha” at a clever pun (or, if you’re feeling mean, news of someone walking in dog mess!), or show your anger towards that guy who posts awfully offensive things all the time. Basically, you can tell people how you’re feeling, using fewer words than ever. It’s like a throwback to the Ancient Egyptians.
Facebook founder, CEO and all round Bossman, Mark Zuckerberg explained that the reactions were chosen after analysing which words were being posted as comments under status’ the most. The “Like” button had recently been diluted to no longer actively mean “I like this thing”, but more of “I acknowledge it”. It now can be developed to indicate “I acknowledge that stuff, but boy does it make me angry”, which is pretty perfect for those of us whose family members share differing political views.
Didn’t Make the Cut…
The add-on was originally trialled in Ireland and Spain, to good responses (or reactions!). However two options didn’t quite make the list – both “Yay” and “Confused” were cut before being rolled out fully. It seems we’ll have to write those words ourselves like the olden days – oh the humanity!
It will be interesting to see how this new feature affects business posts. Facebook’s algorithm displays on the NewsFeed, those posts that have been “Liked” the most from a page you follow. However, if a brand does something bad, and the reactions are full of the bloated red angry emoji, will this be shown just as much as one with an equal amount of hearts? Will we be able to see the general opinion on brands, ideas or people based on the number of positive vs. negative reactions? Facebook have vowed to ensure the new feature isn’t used “inappropriately” (whatever that may mean!) so only time will tell.
Like all things Facebook has changed in the past, the first few days are full of memes, status’ and opinions that no one really asked for. Give it a few weeks before users can’t even remember what it was ever like before. We are still kind of holding out for that dislike button to make an appearance though…