On Thursday, Facebook began to roll out a set of “emoji reactions” that sit next to the traditional “like” button on the social network. These six emojis represent love, haha, yay, wow, sad, and angry.
Mark Zuckerberg has said that this feature came out of a desire of users for something akin to a dislike button. But Adam Mosseri, the head of Facebook’s news feed, told Bloomberg his team decided that the ability to “dislike” posts would bring too much negative energy to a social network.
The mandate Mosseri had from Facebook was to make it easier for people to express themselves without the need to post an entire “comment.” Commenting, it seems, was considered too onerous of a task — and not simple or granular enough for users to understand how their friends felt in aggregate.
When building a set of emojis, Mosseri took the job very seriously. Facebook tapped sociologists to consult on “the range of human emotion,”
according to Bloomberg. They then analysed massive amounts of user data to understand which emojis people used the most.
Hearts were, apparently, everywhere — whether beating in a chest or popping out of eyes, he told Bloomberg. Another popular emotion? Laughter, thanks to the massive popularity of “haha” and “LOL.”