Every day, people use their social media platforms to discover what is happening in the world around them. I for one, use my social media to share all kinds of things, whether that is a personal update, something relating to my blog or something thought provoking that I couldn’t miss sharing…it could be anything. The Facebook news feed is currently one of the ways you can receive updates about your friends, family and anything else that matters to you, and the central place to have conversations with the people in your network. You may have seen that Facebook issued a new update recently. Facebook listened to their users feedback on creating an easier way to easily and quickly share expressions on something you see in your news feed. That is why they recently launched their ‘Reactions’, an extension of the ‘Like’ button, to give you more ways to share your reactions to a post in a quick and easy manner.
Emoji are more than playful shorthand for the written word. According to Vyvyan Evans, a professor of linguistics at Bangor University who studied the use of emoji in communication, “Nearly 70% of meaning derived from spoken language comes from nonverbal cues like body language and facial expression”.
To add a reaction, simply hold down the ‘Like’ button on the mobile or hover over the ‘Like’ button on the desktop to see the reaction image options appear, then tap either Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry. Just a little note, it is quite easy to accidentally ‘love’ or ‘wow’ someone’s status inadvertently when your mouse is hovering over the new reactions on your desktop…I would be cautious until you get the hang of the new feature. I mean, you wouldn’t want to get yourself in a sticky situation! Facebook understand that this is going to be a big change, and wanted to ensure they rolled this out in the best possible way. For over a year they have been conducting global research including focus groups and surveys to determine what types of reactions people would want to use the most. They also looked at how people are already commenting on posts and the top stickers and emoticons as signals for the types of reactions people are already using to determine which reactions to roll out first. I am a huge fan of this update, however, even after introducing these reactions they still have not created a dislike button! Hopefully, this will be something that they will introduce further down the line.
At the moment, the reactions are only available to use on posts, pictures and videos – not on individual comments. However, yet again, this may be something Facebook will decide to expand within the future. Once you use the new reactions, each post will show the top three reactions it has received. Clicking on those reactions will give you a breakdown of how many people have used each reaction. Though you can only use one reaction to respond to a post, you can change to a different one if you change your mind afterwards (Facebook will just change the count).
Facebook has never been afraid to alter its design and promote change…even though they are not always received well by the users. However, the new ‘Reactions’ are certainly a good direction to move in to. If all goes accordingly, the new ‘Reactions’ will integrate seamlessly into the existing platform. In a few weeks time we’ll probably forget they were never there from the start. Overall, it is a great new feature and I am looking forward to using them a lot more.
What would you like the next ‘Reactions’ to be? Do you think it’s about time we get a dislike button?