Love, Laughter, Surprise, Sadness and Anger. It sounds like the emotions I go through while drinking a beer. I start with a full glass of golden hoppy deliciousness and share a few laughs with some friends. A few minutes go by and I’m shocked to see how much I drank, and yes, I cry and get rather angry when it’s gone. I can only assume this was part of the brainstorming process when Facebook added these Reactions to the beloved Like button this week.
Now, when you hover over the like button, our new friends appear, giving you the option to share more feelings with the Facebook world. The top three reactions will show next to the number of overall reactions on the post. When you click the number, it shows how many people have selected each reaction. It’s a nice way to quickly gauge how your content speaks to your audience. Here is what Mark Zuckerberg had to say about the release.
Today is our worldwide launch of Reactions — the new Like button with more ways to express yourself. Not every moment you want to share is happy. Sometimes you want to share something sad or frustrating. Our community has been asking for a dislike button for years, but not because people want to tell friends they don't like their posts. People wanted to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions. I've spent a lot of time thinking about the right way to do this with our team. One of my goals was to make it as simple as pressing and holding the Like button. The result is Reactions, which allow you to express love, laughter, surprise, sadness or anger. Love is the most popular reaction so far, which feels about right to me!
Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, February 24, 2016
As a community manager, I look forward to seeing how these new Reactions will affect content. While most of them are rather positive, I see anger playing heavily into content strategies. Sometimes brands can be controversial and may see a bit of a backlash with their posts. At the time of posting this, SeaWorld, Planned Parenthood, and Donald Trump each have posts with Anger as the second highest reaction. These are extreme examples from controversial brands, but we get a quick glimpse of this new roll-out in action.
Not all anger reactions are bad. There is also the righteous anger that will come out when people are passionately displeased. This will happen with news about natural disasters, politics and crime.
This adds another flavor to the Facebook algorithm and it won’t take long to see how these emotions affect news feeds. Brands will have to adapt and create more inspiring content to draw emotions from fans. If they don’t, they may be left crying into an empty glass of beer.