In a major overhaul to to the ‘Like’ button, Facebook is now testing “Reactions”, giving people a range of emojis to choose from, while reacting to posts on their timeline. In a post yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the new emojis will allow users to better express themselves. The feature has been initially made available only for users in Spain and Ireland.
The Reactions feature comprises emojis depicting love, laughter, cheeky smile, awe, sadness, and anger, in addition to the already existing Like button. “Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy. These are important moments where you need the power to share more than ever, and a Like might not be the best way to express yourself,” Zuckerberg said in a post on Thursday. “Reactions gives you new ways to express love, awe, humor and sadness. It's not a dislike button, but it does give you the power to easily express sorrow and empathy -- in addition to delight and warmth,” he further noted in his post.
Users will be able to access the emoticons by long pressing the Like button. The feature is available on the Android and iOS apps, as well as the web interface. All the posts from users and pages will display a breakdown of each of the reactions received. Chief product officer, Chris Cox said, “As you can see, it's not a dislike button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly.” Facebook will “use the feedback from this (pilot test) to improve the feature and hope to roll it out to everyone soon,” said Cox.
For a while now, photo comments have found favour with users to react to posts which warrant something more than a ‘like’. During a Q&A session at Townhall last month, Zuckerberg had confirmed that Facebook is working on expanding the Like button. Although users have been clamouring for the “dislike” button, Zuckerberg had hinted that Facebook is working on a more expansive range of emotions.