By popular demand, Facebook is giving you more than the thumbs up button with a unique way to express how you’re feeling. Sometimes “liking” someone’s status is not the right thing to do for every occasion. These five new reactions were introduced this past Wednesday to nearly 1.6 billion users around the globe. To access these new reactions, hold down the “like” button” on your mobile device or hover over the “like” button on your desktop.. You will see a love, haha, wow, sad and angry emoji pop up. Beside each emoji, there will be a tally of how many people have reacted to your status.
“Not every moment you want to share is happy,” CEO Mark Zuckerburg wrote in a Facebook post. “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 want to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions.”
This was not a “wing it” project for Facebook. They spent over a year researching how each culture would react to these new emojis. Facebook used focus groups and surveys to really understand what their users wanted. This past October, Facebook announced that it would test these reactions in Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Chile, the Philippines and Colombia. They wanted to take into account that each culture is going to react in a different way. Facebook will continue to monitor these new reactions and refine the product as they get more feedback.
These new reactions give users a quicker and easier way to react to someone’s status. They are also a great way for Facebook to learn more about what their users interests are, which will help tailor their newsfeeds to status updates and advertisements that they would be most interested in. Eventually content producers and publishers will get more details on how people are responding emotionally to posts, and we look forward to learning more about the vast data these reactions can provide us. What do you think of the new reactions?