Facebook debuts “reactions” function
Facebook announced a big change to the way users can interact with content and updates today. It’s called “Reactions.” You no longer have to like something to acknowledge you’ve read it. Now there are a list of reaction emojis to choose from. Because let’s face it, no one wants to spend any time writing actual words. Soon, we will all just communicate in emojis.
Using the function is easy: on mobile you just hold down the like button and the reactions list appears. On a desktop, you hover over the like button to see the list. Then you can tap either Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry.
The reactions aren’t replacing the “like” button — you can still just opt to give a post a thumbs up. But now, you can further express the way a post actually makes you feel without really expressing anything at all.
Clearly, there’s just too much of a variety of stuff going on in the world, and not enough one-step ways to show that we care. Now, we’ll be able to abandon all useful social discourse and just hit an “angry” emoji. Then we can go back to watching cat videos and playing Candy Crush. Just kidding. Sort of.
Things are about to get really weird. There is just too much room to read into these things. Why did she put a “haha” emoji on the first picture I posted of my newborn? That jerk that just friended me from high school put a “love” emoji next to my announcement that I lost my job. What’s up with that?
There was a rumor swirling around for a while that a “dislike” button would be happening. Zuckerberg dismissed the idea at a town hall discussion in December. “Some people have asked for a dislike button because they want to be able to say ‘that thing isn’t good,’ and we’re not going to do that,” Zuckerberg said. “I don’t think that’s socially very valuable, or great for the community.” Maybe “angry emoji” tested better than an actual thumbs down. Who knows?
“We understand that this is a big change, and want to be thoughtful about rolling this out,” the company said in its announcement of the new tool today. “For more than a year we have been conducting global research including focus groups and surveys to determine what types of reactions people would want to use most.” There was a lot of thought put into these five reactions. We’ll see how they go over!