The days of only having the option to ‘Like’ something on Facebook may be numbered.
The social networking site is now testing out a new feature called Reactions, which will allow users to express emotions about what they see coming across their News Feed, with the emoji options: angry, sad, wow, yay, haha, love and, of course, the traditional like.
The Reactions emojis were initially rolled out in Ireland and Spain, where Facebook Product Manager Chris Tosswill said the company will monitor what works and what doesn’t work in order to make a decision on pushing out the feature to all users.
In a blog post explaining the Reactions testing, Tosswill said the feature will act as extension of the Like button to give users a better way to quickly and easily share their response to a post.
"Our goal is to show you the stories that matter most to you in News Feed. Initially, just as we do when someone likes a post, if someone uses a Reaction, we will infer they want to see more of that type of post,” Tosswill added.
[bctt tweet=”Facebook may be answering the call for a ‘Dislike’ button with a slew of emojis.”]
But Reactions may be able to do more than just give users a better way to express their feelings; the company pointed to a use case for businesses as well.
"We see this as an opportunity for businesses and publishers to better understand how people are responding to their content on Facebook. During this test, Page owners will be able to see Reactions to all of their posts on Page insights,” Tosswill explained, noting that the Reactions will have the same amount of impact on delivery as Likes currently do.
While it’s unclear if the Reactions will make it to the broader Facebook user base anytime soon, since that will depend on what Facebook learns and observes during the testing phase, many see the potential the move could bring.
"It’s a win for Facebook as a data-driven company,” Andrea Forte, assistant professor of social computing at Drexel University, told The Wall Street Journal.
“It creates a more controlled vocabulary that Facebook can use to understand what people’s responses are to items in their News Feed.”
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