It was only a couple of weeks ago that we covered a story which got Facebook users just a tad bit excited. Mark Zuckerberg had hinted that a dislike-type button would be coming to the world’s largest social media platform shortly.
If you are an avid Facebook user than you have likely encountered the dilemma in which you had to choose if you should ‘like’ a friend’s post that may not be all that likable, (for instance a post saying that they are having a terrible day or that their dog died) or forego clicking the little icon and in the process risk that your friend will think you didn’t acknowledge their post. What an awful problem to have, right?
Well, today we got word that not only is Facebook about to begin tests on a new button to solve this problem, but actually they will begin rolling out tests in certain markets for multiple new ‘reaction’ buttons.
The new buttons will work in a similar fashion as the original ‘like’ button but now provide users the ability to select other reactions as well, including the ability to express love, sadness, shock, anger, and happiness.
“Today we’re launching a pilot test of Reactions — a more expressive Like button,” explained Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer at Facebook. “As you can see, it’s not a “dislike” button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly. We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun. Starting today Ireland and Spain can start loving, wow-ing, or expressing sympathy to posts on Facebook by hovering or long-pressing the Like button wherever they see it. We’ll use the feedback from this to improve the feature and hope to roll it out to everyone soon.”
Users will be able to long-press the ‘like’ icon on their mobile devices, at which point the new icons will appear. They can then select any one of these icons and the total tally for each will be displayed at the bottom of the user’s posts.
Clearly these new icons will drive further engagement on Facebook, while also providing users with something else to keep track of under each of their posts. This also means that the next time your friend posts an obituary for their favorite pet hamster, you can click the ‘sad’ reaction instead of the ‘like’ button and show them that you really do care. As for when these icons may be rolled out on a more widespread basis, Facebook has yet to say.