Facebook has rolled out its new extended like button globally. The change occurred February 24th, first on desktop and then across mobile devices.
The feature, which has been dubbed “Facebook Reactions,” allows users to do more than just “like” a post. Users can still choose from “like” as well as five different emoji reactions: “love,” “haha,” “wow,” “sad,” and “angry”. Originally, “yay ” was also an option, but it didn’t do well in test markets.
These Reactions are Facebook’s way of appeasing users who have been asking for a “dislike” button for years.
To use the new reactions on desktop, users can hover over the “like” button with their mouse. On mobile devices, a long press on the “like” button will display the emojis.
Facebook has been testing Reactions in countries such as Spain and Ireland since 2015. The goal of Reactions has been to give users an easy way to express an emotion they feel about a post (such as sympathy or empathy) rather than “liking” everything.
Wonderful news. Facebook finally added "reactions." You no longer have to "like" it when someone dies!— Jack Douglass (@jacksfilms) February 24, 2016
Chevrolet has already taken advantage of the new options, inviting followers to use the “love” emoji for the 2016 Malibu.
For now, Facebook is considering Reactions to be the same as "likes", so even if someone uses the "sad" emoji on your Facebook post, Facebook will still treat it as a "like". This could change, though. Facebook Product Manager Sammi Krug stated in a blog post yesterday, “Over time we hope to learn how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by News Feed”.
Facebook page owners will also see insights about their followers' Reactions to posts in Page Insights, and Reactions will have the same impact on ad delivery that “likes” have.
What it means for small businesses.
Reactions could be huge for small businesses. They will give businesses a level of feedback on what they are posting that “likes” have never given. According to AdAge, this will be a great way for brands to measure sentiment. Brands can use Reactions to gauge how consumers feel, not only about posts, but about the business in general.
These new options could also be great for customer service, since 59 percent of consumers aged 25-34 years old often use social media to share a bad experience they had with a business. If a customer clicks the “sad” or “angry” emoji, businesses will need to respond and turn that bad experience around .
Users want the ability to express themselves quickly (especially on mobile) and the reaction buttons will allow for that.
Emotion is also the most important factor for customer loyalty to brands, according to Forrester Research, so now businesses can use Facebook Reactions to get a better idea of how customer emotions affect their businesses and use those emotions to make changes that will result in happy customers who “love” their businesses.