Six Months Later: Like still dominates Facebook Reactions

On February 24th, Facebook announced the global rollout of Facebook reactions.

The dislike button has probably been the most requested featured since day one. There were even polls done showing that 38% of people want a dislike feature. Various people within Facebook came out against the dislike button.

“People need a much higher degree of sophistication and richness in what choices we provide for their communications. Binary ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ doesn’t properly reflect how we react to the vast array of things we encounter in our real lives.”
- Product Design Director Geoff Teahan
“We’re not going to build that, and I don’t think there needs to be a voting mechanism on Facebook about whether posts are good or bad.”
- CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook reactions were their answer to the vocal minority that wanted a dislike feature.


The other day, a client asked me about our Facebook activity during the summer. When searching for an answer I stumbled upon a new analytic: Reactions. We’ve always been able to see the difference between reactions, comments, and shares. But now we can see the breakdown between reactions.

Here are the breakdowns of a spread of our clients. I’ve included demographics so you can see the relation of age to reaction.

A note: we’ve been posting consistent asks for reactions across all our pages since they launched. These are graphics that ask people to reaction to content and display the emojis for reactions.

National Security Advocacy Organization — 3.1 million likes

This page routinely posts criticisms of the current administration on national security–it would make sense for Angry and Sad to be much higher than the rest. The page also posts content highlighting veterans twice a week, which probably make up most of the Love reactions.

International Sports Organization — 23 thousand likes

With a softer message, it’s no surprise that Love dominates any non-like reactions.

Pro-Natural Gas Campaign — 93 thousand likes

Even with the younger-skewed demographics, the reactions don’t appear to be more in relation to like.

Senatorial Campaign — 180 thousand likes

Lots of angry people.

I’m sure no one within Facebook is naive enough to think that reactions was going to be adopted quickly–and this is not a judgement that it’s not.

But nonetheless, it is still interesting to take a look at user behavior and see that like it dominating reactions.