Get Ready For A Whole New Facebook Experience As Reactions Launches Today

Oh, my! Get ready for a major change in your Facebook NewsFeed TODAY as Facebook makes “Reactions” available globally. Now when you are in a desktop web browser and you hover your cursor over the “Like” link, you get a pop-up menu where you can choose a reaction other than to simply “like” a post:

Alerted to this by a post from the ever-watchful Christopher Penn on Facebook, I confirmed that Reactions also works in Facebook mobile apps. On the iOS app if you just quickly tap the “Like” button you will “like” that post as you always have done. But if you hold down your tap just a moment longer, you will get a pop-up menu:

After you have chosen one of these reactions, it will then appear at the bottom of the post in both an emoji form and in a text word visible to you:

As with a standard “Like” you can just tap the word to remove the reaction. If you do the longer tap you can change your reaction.

Now, on my iPhone, I had to kill off the Facebook app and re-launch it in order for the reactions to appear but once I did that it worked fine.

The six “reactions” are:

  • Like
  • Love
  • Haha
  • Wow
  • Sad
  • Angry

I expect we’ll initially see a lot of playing around with these reactions as people experiment with the reactions, but longer term I do see a value in this increased range of reactions. For instance, there are certainly news posts being passed around right now that I want to indicate that I’m glad someone shared… but I certainly don’t “like” the content of the news post.

Similarly when a tragic event happens in someone’s life and I may not have the words to say in a comment, it hasn’t felt right to “like” their post — this now gives an option of “Sad”. Having said that… I can think of some posts that I “dislike” but that are not “sad” and don’t rise to the level of me being “angry”. My option there may be to continue to simply do nothing.

Regardless, it will be interesting to see what this does to our NewsFeeds over the next few days and over the weeks ahead.

What do you think? Do you like having the new “reactions”? Will you use them? Or do you think they are unnecessary? Will you just stick with the plain old “Like”?

And what “reaction” will you give this blog post when you see it on Facebook? ;-)

UPDATE #1 — After a few hours of using Reactions, a couple of additional points.

1. Only for posts, not comments — the Reactions buttons appear only for the “Like” link for a post / status update / photo / etc. If you want to react to a comment you are still limited to “Like”.

2. Notifications mention reactions — when you see pop-up notifications or look in your list of notifications, the new Reactions are displayed separately from the traditional Likes.

One thing to keep in mind, too, is that beyond helping you express yourself more, the Reactions also help Facebook in more accurately tracking what you think about NewsFeed items and therefore allowing them to more carefully target advertising to you.

UPDATE #2 — A very large number of articles about Reactions up on Techmeme.

This article in Wired provides a good view into the design of the Reactions and the testing that wound up with the 6 reactions launched today.


Originally published at www.disruptiveconversations.com on February 24, 2016.

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