Beyond the ‘like’ button: Facebook ‘reactions’ released to the rest of the world

  • Facebook launches ‘reactions’ to the rest of the world
  • Users can now use the five new buttons that include ‘love’, ‘haha’, ‘wow’, ‘sad’, and ‘angry’
  • Test runs were conducted in some countries like Ireland and Spain

“Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy” ; this was the premise provided by Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg a year ago over the need to launch new ‘reactions’ on the platform.

Finally conceding that the platform needed a more nuanced way for its users to better interact with posts, since not every post is worth a thumbs up or even a hint of a ‘like’, the CEO gathered with his team on Facebook, including Julie Zhuo, their product design director who worked on the reactions product.

Zhou said that because people needed a way to leave feedback that was quick, easy, and gesture-based, they agreed that Emojis were the best option. Having hundreds of emojis to choose from initially, the team settled with six then, finally, five. Only the sentiments most often expressed by users, as per their study, made it to the final cut.

According to Zuckerberg, reactions are essentially “a more expressive Like button”; saying that the reason for the conception of the new buttons —  ‘love’, ‘haha’, ‘wow’, ‘sad’, and ‘angry’ — is for their company to allow users to express themselves better on social media through a wider range of options. And honestly, it’s really cool to have a variety of choices with which to impart just how you feel over posts and photos shared, right?

But before the rest of the world got to try the reactions, Facebook deemed it proper to test the new reactions first. Ireland and Spain were then chosen to be the test sites whereby feedback from users in these two countries became the basis for improvements on the use of the reactions. It was a necessary test before their global release.

How it works

No sweat really as the way it works is as simple as liking a post.

By just either long pressing or hovering over the ‘like’ button, Facebook users can select the reaction which they deem is their most appropriate response to a post. Similar to the number of likes a post gets, the number of people clicking each reaction is also tracked.

Why no dislike button

Early on, Zuckerberg acknowledged that there was a high demand for the creation of a ‘dislike’ button, but Adam Mosseri, head of Facebook’s news team, shared in a Bloomberg interview last year that the Facebook team feels that the ‘dislike’ option is not aligned with the thrust of their organizational goals, and is not “in the spirit of the product we’re trying to build.”

For the meantime, there’s already a lot of excitement over the reactions emojis. Life should be simple — as reactions should be. No need to overdo by typing words on every post. Just hit the reaction button that suits your emotion for the moment, and hopefully — more ‘love’, ‘haha’, and ‘wow’ please?

Introducing ReactionsToday is our worldwide launch of Reactions — the new Like button with more ways to express yourself. 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. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the right way to do this with our team. One of my goals was to make it as simple as pressing and holding the Like button. The result is Reactions, which allow you to express love, laughter, surprise, sadness or anger. Love is the most popular reaction so far, which feels about right to me!

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, February 24, 2016