It’s official. After months of trialing the feature in selected countries, and even longer researching and designing it at company HQ, Facebook has rolled out “Reactions” globally. In addition to the traditional “like” button, users can now choose from six animated emoji: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. So how have people reacted to “Reactions”? Here we take a look…
A Step Too Far?
What? They’ve changed the “like” button?! But it’s Facebook’s trademark feature!
This may well have been your initial reaction to…well, “Reactions”. However, Facebook users have been asking for an evolution of the feature for quite some time. And while this isn’t the “dislike” button many have been asking for, it does enable users to engage in a way that expresses a range of emotions. What’s more, says Karissa Bell on Mashable, “the update actually feels pretty intuitive, even if it may take some time to get used to the accompanying animations.”
Good News for Marketers?
Writing for Fobes, Kathleen Chaykowski notes that “a bump in Facebook’s already strong engagement would be well received by investors, as well as by advertisers, who can learn more about users through data on their emotional response to content.” Indeed, as users are now able to interact with posts in a more nuanced way, marketers can obtain a better idea of how their content is being received. Does user engagement signify happiness, surprise, shock or something else? With “Reactions”, brands are in a better position to determine this.
The Inside Word
In an article published by Medium, Geoff Teehan, Product Design Director at Facebook, asserts that “not everything in life is Likeable”, explaining that when users post, “sometimes we just want a simple way to say we really love what they shared, or to express empathy when life takes a turn”. Are “Reactions” perfect? Certainly not. However, “we’ll [Facebook] be continuing to learn, iterate and improve upon it, but we’re hopeful this is a step towards a more empathetic Facebook experience.”
So there you have it – an indication that this may not be the definitive version of “Reactions”, even if the feature has been rather well received so far. As for how “Reactions” will evolve, we’ll just have to wait and see.