Ever since Facebook took off, users have requested a “dislike” button to go along with the like button attached to every post on your newsfeed. CEO Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t budge for many years, citing that the dislike option would cause more negativity than helpfulness on the platform. Finally Zuckerberg conceded that people should have the option to express emotions besides just liking content, so Facebook Reactions was developed and launched last week. By just hovering over the same place you’d like a post, you have the options to: like, love, haha, wow, sad and angry posts on your newsfeed through animated little emoticons. Notifications will be cited as people reacting to your posts as opposed to John Doe “liked” your picture. The top three most used reactions per post will be the ones immediately visible below the content when scrolling through your newsfeed so the space isn’t overcrowded. This works both on mobile and desktop, with the only difference being you hold down the reaction button on mobile and only hover over it on desktop. From an algorithmic standpoint, reactions will make your newsfeed much more engaging and content much more personalized simply by how you react to different matters.
How are people… reacting?
With its official release last week, it took many Facebook users by surprise and garnered some confusion. Although not negative, users weren’t sure how the new feature worked and if it impacted the ability to simply like and comment on their friends content. After some clarification that’s taken place a few days in, people are mainly happy with reactions, especially since it’s not mandatory. With an easy interface that only shows you the traditional “like” but will show more if you purposely hover over it, people can pick when they want to engage in the emotions or just ignore it. They don’t take away visually from how we normally view posts, you just see a little bit more into how people feel about it. In fact, this gives users an opportunity to finally interact with posts that may be sad or angry in a way that’s not awkward or one-note. People can finally stop writing “lol” on everything and simply use the haha reaction. It’s just simplifying the interaction between people and posts, but giving more choices to show more emotion.
What does this mean for marketing?
With this new set up, people can more accurately express how they feel about certain posts and content, which will prove to be very valuable for the business end of Facebook. While it will be nice for friends and family to love and be wowed by your pictures and updates, the real difference will be seen from the businesses, brands, and celebrities that use the social media platform. From an analytical standpoint, fan pages will have the ability to see a breakdown of all the reactions per post and let them gain a better sense how their audience feels about certain content. It’s great competitive research because it’ll give you a look at what people like more in their Facebook feed and what they don’t engage well with. If people put in the effort to read your content, interact with the message and use the reaction feature then it can increase engagement significantly. Insights on your audience will become much more detailed and helpful for further improvements for commercial based Facebook pages.