Mar 16 2016 | by SONYA FRY
Ever wanted to unlike something on Facebook? I think most of us have at some point or another, usually when a loved one is annoyed about something and we want to show our sympathy. Or when someone has shared a post to raise awareness about a cause and the like button is just no longer appropriate. Some would argue that you could simply write a comment to respond to such a post, which of course is absolutely true, however hasn't history taught us that sometimes a picture can be worth a thousand words (or in this case an emoji)?
For years Facebook users have been requesting other options aside from the standard like button, but with awareness growing around online bullying and trolling, it is no wonder Facebook have taken so long to make a decision on how to address this desire from its users. The mention of an unlike button was a cause for concern, but last year during a Q&A session with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, he was asked what was happening around this issue and was very passionate when he said “We don’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts”.
Therefore, after lots of brainstorming, planning and building, on the 24th February this year Facebook launched their new Reaction buttons. Working as an extension to the traditional like button, if you hold down like you now have the additional reactions of love, haha, yay, wow, sad, and angry.
Facebook came to these choices after lots of research and user feedback, where they found that sometimes users actually wanted the option to show sympathy rather than dislike. They also delved into users comments on posts and analysed the most popular one-word comments or stickers, which helped them decide on the final choice of reactions.
So far the new reaction buttons have been well received by Facebook users across the site, and the choice of emotions that Facebook have provided seem to have met the need for responding to posts of different natures. Like is still used regularly however, and this is probably because it is the first available Reaction on mobile devices, and is therefore quick and easy.
However one reaction in particular has proved to be a big hit with brands making the most of the social media network, and that is the love reaction. Companies like Chevy, for example, have launched new advertising off the back of the new Facebook Reactions. Take a look at their advert for the new 2016 Malibu, encouraging the viewer to show their “love.”
Of course there is also the worry that Facebook users can now show ‘anger’ towards your brand too, but this has always been possible through comments and should be dealt with in the same way, with prompt, personal and helpful responses that will hopefully turn around that negative reaction.
Overall businesses will be able to gain better insight into what the public think of them with this new range of Reactions, as well as be able to tailor their content based on the most popular responses. Essentially you now have something to benchmark against, and can evaluate if the advertisement you wanted to ‘wow’ potential customers with actually did.
At present each reaction is still counted as a like in Facebook analytics, but hopefully it won’t be long before each individual reaction is incorporated so advertisers can report on the full range of reactions.
Better responses with Facebook's new Reactions