Reactions – New Facebook Emoticons
Do you ever “like” something on Facebook? If so, life is about to get a bit more complex.
Rather than simply ‘liking’ posts, users will soon have the option to express emotions about them with a new set of buttons called ‘Reactions’.
These will include ‘like’, ‘love’, ‘haha’, ‘wow’, ‘sad’, and ‘angry’ . A sixth reaction announced in October, the “yay” button, was ultimately rejected because “it was not universally understood,” a Facebook spokesperson told Bloomberg.
In the conference call with analysts after Facebook’s blockbuster financial results, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that Reactions – which are being tested in Spain, Ireland and a few other places – would be shown everywhere “pretty soon”.
The idea, the chief executive said, is to add “a little bit of complexity” to something that is very simple. “When you only have a like button, if you share a sad piece of content or something that makes you angry, people may not have the tool to react to it.”
Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, told Bloomberg News: ‘You can love something, you can be sad about something, you can laugh out loud at something.
‘We know on phones people don’t like to use keyboards and we also know that the like button does not always let you say what you want.’
But it’s advertisers who will be really going “wow” about this change to the way Facebook works. The latest results show just how much they have bought into the social network’s message that it offers a unique way to connect with consumers and learn everything about them. Now they will have a far more complex set of data.
Simon Calvert, head of strategy at the marketing agency Lida, says if the new system accurately reflects human emotions then it will be very interesting.
“Emotions travel five times faster than rational thought,” he said. “So the ability to build better emotional connections with consumers is something that advertisers really prize.”