Your Facebook newsfeed is about to get a whole lot more meaningful.

After nearly a year of testing in various markets around the globe, Facebook has now released their new, supercharged ‘like’ button.

For the first time, Facebook users globally can now react to status with more than just a thumbs up. Facebook Reactions enable you to express yourself with five additional emojis, alongside a “like.”

The new Reactions are: ‘love,’ ‘haha,’ ‘wow,’ ‘sad,’ and ‘angry.’

emojis

Curious to learn more about this change? Let’s dive in.

fb-reactions-head

About the change

Reactions, is an extension of the Like button, to give you more ways to express your feelings towards a post in a quick and easy way.

To add a Reaction, hold down the Like button on mobile or hover over the Like button on desktop to see the Reaction image options, then tap either Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry.

Here’s how the hover works on desktop:

Fb-reactions

And on mobile:
fb-reactions-mobile

On the process of rolling out this change, Facebook product manager, Sammi Krug explains:

We understand that this is a big change, and want to be thoughtful about rolling this out. For more than a year we have been conducting global research including focus groups and surveys to determine what types of reactions people would want to use most. We 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 offer.

Even though there are now five extra ways to react to a status, the ‘like’ still holds to number one spot.

As you scroll through your Newsfeed, you’ll still the ‘Like’ call to action on every post. Now though, instead of telling you how many people “Liked’ something, Facebook tells you how many people “reacted.” 

During the testing period, Facebook learned a great deal about how people would like to react to the content in their feed.

Originally, “yay” was also included as a Reaction, but Facebook discovered that “yay” could also convey other positive emotions such as “love” and “haha, and the data showed it was used much less in testing that the other Reactions. As such, “yay” was removed.

Given the long-lasting rumours of a “Dislike” button, this update feels like something Facebook users have been longing after for a while.

Facebook is used to share an emotional range of posts, and often, a “like” wasn’t entirely fitting to every post you wanted to react to. Mark Zuckerberg shared his thoughts on this topic as rumours of a “Dislike” button started to circle in 2015:

Over the years of people asking for this, what we kind of have come to understand is that people aren’t looking for an ability to down vote other people’s posts, what they really want is to be able to express empathy.

Not every moment is a good moment and if you are sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events, like the refugees crisis that touches you or if a family member passed away, then it may not feel comfortable to ‘like’ that post. But your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand and that they relate to you, so I do think it’s important to give people more options.

With Reactions being rolled out across both individual and business pages, this feels like an excellent opportunity to dive into what Facebook Reactions could mean for anyone running a brand page.

What Reactions could mean for brands

It certainly feels like Reactions could be a significant update for brands on Facebook.

Just hours after Facebook Reactions were released globally, Chevrolet became the first brands to incorporate the ‘like’ button extension into one of their advertising campaigns.

The one minute video, posted on Chevrolet’s Facebook page, allows customers to display their ‘love’ for the latest Chevrolet release. Check out the video below:

 

Like the all-new 2016 Malibu? More like Love. http://s.chevy.com/moV

Posted by Chevrolet on Wednesday, 24 February 2016

 

3 ways Facebook Reactions could affect brands

1. New ways to measure sentiment

Reactions will offer a new way to measure sentiment and gauge exactly how an audience is reacting to your Page’s content or a sponsored post. 

“Reactions gives businesses a really crisp way of understanding on a multi-dimensional level how people are feeling about the things that they’re posting,” Richard Sim, Facebook’s director of monetization product marketing, explained to AdAge.

This update will also bring a refresh to Facebook insights, with brands able to see Reaction counts within Facebook’s page insights tool.

2. Better understanding of customers

Previously, Facebook users had a few options if they saw a piece of brand content in their news feed:

  1. Ignore it
  2. Like it
  3. Share it (if they really love it)
  4. Comment on it (either positively or negatively)

Reactions open up multiple new ways for users to share their feelings towards content.

For example, if you’re seeing a lot of haha Reactions it may become clear that your audience finds your content amusing – this is context you previously wouldn’t find with the “like” only button.

3. A decrease in comments

Reactions is designed to make it easier for users to react to posts without having to type a comment.

Comments have always been a way to keep an eye on how your audience have reacted to a post and qualitatively measure performance.

With this update, I could see a sharp decrease in comments as Reactions will provide users with more ways to convey their feelings without having to type and leave a comment. This may also lead to more quantitive ways to measure user emotions through data.

Could Reactions eventually factor into the news feed algorithm?

Facebook is always looking for new ways to improve their news feed algorithm and speaking to AdAge, Richard Sim explained:

“Over time we do expect to have a better understanding of how these different Reactions impact what people want to see in their news feed. So it’s very possible that loves or hahas may be treated differently. We’re going to learn this as we’re going through testing.”

Could we see Reactions factored into the algorithm in the future? Maybe, but I wouldn’t expect it to happen anytime soon. I fully expect Facebook to be meticulous with the data here and fully test any updates before rolling them out to the news feed algorithm.

Over to you

Thanks for reading! I’m super excited about the update and can’t wait to dig into the Facebook insights data for our Buffer page.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this update. What do you think about Reactions? How can you see this update affecting brands on Facebook?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Written by Ash Read

Content crafter at Buffer. I’m fascinated by storytelling, entrepreneurship, and travel. When I’m not writing, you’ll usually find me on a football pitch or basketball court.

  • http://www.learnerdesign.com/ Noah Learner

    I’m really stoked to try this, but it hasn’t rolled out to me. I wonder if they are doing one user “silo” at a time…

    • Beth

      Yeah, my biggest ques is who will get it when!

  • http://www.hijos-del-atomo.com/ Christian Orellana

    How will Buffer “react” to this? Will we see reactions in the analytics and the API?

  • http://tradablebits.com Tradable Bits

    Great post! 🙂

  • http://8bitnerds.com/ Dave

    I’m not sure if I like, love or haha this post. That makes me 🙁 and >:-(

  • JonaRothenberg

    The German Netflix page was great in jumping on the new reactions right away with an awesome post:

    https://www.facebook.com/NetflixDACH/photos/a.1478020025797096.1073741828.1381060095493090/1689729291292834/?type=3&theater

    Translation: “First Episode” – “Last Episode”

  • http://hedstrominternetconsulting.com/ Steve Hedstrom

    Great post and intro to Facebook Reactions Ash! I’ve been looking forward to their roll out and also very interested to see how they change engagement on Pages. I do think this is much better than the dislike button users have been asking for. More empathy make us more connected both online and in person. Have a thankful Thursday and Cheers to all Bufferers! Sharing this one with some reactions to my network. 🙂

  • Islandnana

    I still think a “dislike” button is needed. However, in the spirit of keeping FB a social media outlet that is intended to be positive, I’ll take the sad face emoticon.

    • Michele

      You could also use the angry face.

  • Phillip Carmichael

    In regards to your note about a decrease in comments, not sure if anyone else has seen this, but I’ve just recently noticed that when scrolling through my newsfeed, if the post is by a page, it shows in the corner how many comments there are, but it doesn’t show any of them, where scroll down a bit, and someone who has a personal page, those comments show up.
    Has anyone else noticed this?

  • https://marketproinc.com/ Olena Eaton

    I am confident it will eventually affect algorithms and organic reach, and I won’t be surprised if it will affect the reach negatively for many brands. Never mind that it already averages 6% of your fan base…

  • Clint Schnekloth

    Do we think reactions will decrease total number of reactions? It was simple to just “like.” It has now become more complicated.

  • Anderson Sullivan

    https://andersonsullivan.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/reactions/ I wrote a blog post about reactions and would love to hear what you think of it? You made some great points above!!

  • Angela Corley

    How do i get the new like button, everyone has it except me. I’ve tried updating, removing FB. When friends log in on my phone theirs work, but I don’t have it. ?
    Help

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    i like these new features of facebook .I found a nice website where you can get timelime covers which can generate your name also Thanks .

    http://www.mycovers.net/

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