Today we’re launching a pilot test of Reactions — a more expressive Like button. As you can see, it’s not a “dislike” button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly. We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun. Starting today Ireland and Spain can start loving, wow-ing, or expressing sympathy to posts on Facebook by hovering or long-pressing the Like button wherever they see it. We’ll use the feedback from this to improve the feature and hope to roll it out to everyone soon.
Posted by Chris Cox on Thursday, October 8, 2015
Facebook is testing a new feature, called “Reactions,” which will let you respond to any post with your choice of six emojis, as opposed to just a “like.”
These emojis will sit next to the traditional thumbs-up icon, and represent love, haha, yay, wow, sad, and angry, according to TechCrunch.
Last month, Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook was working on a dislike button. “I think people have asked about the dislike button for many years. Today is a special day because today is the day I can say we’re working on it and shipping it,” he said. Now we know what that feature actually looks like.
The feature makes sense. When you’re confronted with a Facebook post about a horrible comment someone made, how do you respond? If you “like” the post, are you liking the statement, or the commentary on it, or just that it was brought to your attention? It gets complicated, and users have long clamored for the ability to respond with more nuance.
Emoji reactions give us some of that functionality, and are have been employed by companies from BuzzFeed to office-communication powerhouse Slack.
Though in fairness, emoji reactions aren’t a perfect solution. If someone shares the news of a loved one passing away, responding with the “sad” emoji seems almost as inappropriate as “liking” it.
Facebook is testing the feature in two markets, Spain and Ireland, Facebook’s director of product told TechCrunch. And reactions will be available on both mobile and desktop, for all posts.