Facebook launches new Reactions feature

shocked woman
1.6 billion Facebook users across the globe are now able to express themselves in six different ways, via a series of new emoji (aka ‘Reactions’) – exciting!

Or instead of being excited by the news, perhaps we should be wowed, sad, angry, or in love with the new feature…

reactions (2) Facebook’s iconic and pioneering ‘Like’ button is clicked over 6 billion times a day. It’s a driver of social activity on the platform, and brands, agencies, and individuals use it as a key metric for success. When you go on holiday and post a selfie, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll be counting the amount of likes you get.

When a brand posts an update, they’ll be totting up the thumbs ups and using it to influence and benchmark their future posting content. When Facebook is prioritising content within the newsfeed, even they will be using the amount of likes on a post to decide whether it’s a good’un or a dud. So changing it is a big step, and a brave one!

What are Reactions?

Last year the rumour mill was spinning as news organisations globally were reporting that Facebook was introducing a ‘Dislike’ button. Zuckerberg dispelled the stories, saying they rejected this route as it would create too much negativity. So, instead, they have launched six carefully chosen pictorial responses for us to play with, and after testing them in several countries last year, they’ve finally been rolled out today.

What does this mean for brands?

For years, Facebook users have been crying out for a Dislike button. Why? Because we are complex creatures, and simply liking something doesn’t convey how we truly feel. If a friend posts about her recent breakup, you aren’t going to like that post. If you hear about an environmental disaster on Facebook, you aren’t going to like that either. So six more emotions to choose from certainly feels like a more natural way of interacting with content.

In particular, the news is great for brands as it allows for more sophisticated insight into the way people feel about content, and it encourages greater and more in-depth engagement.

As Social Media Creative, Callum Joynes highlights:

In social media, we’re always getting asked how to measure the sentiment our audience feels towards our content; your post might have a lot of interactions, but they might not all be positive.

Allowing users to express their emotional reaction to content with a single click will go a long way towards helping content creators better assess what’s really hitting home and what’s missing the mark.

What do you think about Facebook’s new Reactions feature? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anushka Kandola
Junior Social Media Creative

We only have a few seconds to engage users on social, and creativity is how we do this.

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