'Reactions' are coming to Facebook!

By admin
29 January 2016

Have you ever seen a post on Facebook which made you wish there was a “dislike” button instead of just the standard “like” option?

Well, you’re not alone.  Facebook has heard your gripes – the “dislike” option is after all one of the most-requested additions to the site.

But that's not Facebook's solution. Instead, they're giving us Reactions, which, in juts a few weeks, all 1.6 billion users of the popular social media network will be able to use.

The emoji-like function will exist alongside the famous “like” button as a way of allowing users to react in more complex ways to Facebook posts and updates.

The five Reactions are “Love”, “Haha”, “Wow”, “Sad”, and “Angry”, and will each have a corresponding picture. (A button called “yay” which featured a smiling face with rosy cheeks had initially been trialled, but Facebook said this was removed during testing because it was not fully understood by users.)

Developers, who picked the specific emojis after consulting with a team of sociologists, hope that Reactions will enhance the “like” button with the emoji responses, allowing users to convey more emotions than just support for a post.

Led by chief product officer Chris Cox, the team behind Reactions compiled Facebook's most popular user responses and grouped them into categories.

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg didn’t want the emojis to clutter the look of a user’s homepage, and came up with a solution: display the usual thumbs-up button under each post, but if someone on their smartphone pressed down on it a little longer, the other options would reveal themselves.

Zuckerberg said that introducing a range of options rather than just an opposite to the like button added “a little bit of complexity” to a user’s reaction. PHOTO: Facebook Zuckerberg said that introducing a range of options rather than just an opposite to the like button added “a little bit of complexity” to a user’s reaction. PHOTO: Facebook

Cox’s team went ahead with that and added animation to clarify their meaning, making the yellow emojis bounce and change expression. Now, once people click their responses, the posts in News Feed will show a tally of how many Wows, Hahas, and Loves each generated.

Facebook has been testing Reactions in select countries since Zuckerberg publicly teased about the project in October.

It was first tested in Spain and Ireland in October, followed by Chile, the Philippines, Portugal and Colombia. And soon, users in the US will be able to try it for the first time (and hopefully soon in South Africa, too!).

Zuckerberg said that introducing a range of options rather than just an opposite to the like button added “a little bit of complexity” to a user’s reaction. “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.”

While there still isn’t a “dislike” button available – Facebook worried that the tool might be used in negative ways – the standard thumbs-up feature will still remain, alongside the new emoji options.

Facebook’s users click on the “like” button more than 6 billion times a day, more frequently than people conduct searches on search engine Google, which affects billions of advertising dollars each year.

Sources: bloomberg.com, www.independent.co.uk, fastcompany.com, huffingtonpost.com

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