Facebook has announced that Reactions, six small animated emojis, are finally rolling out as official additions to the Like button.
The global rollout follows on from a period of intense local testing in Spain, Ireland, Chile and a number of other countries. Well that testing is now over and according to a report by Bloomberg the new Reactions will be arriving on Facebook in the coming weeks.
Today we're launching a test of Reactions -- a more expressive Like button. The Like button has been a part of Facebook for a long time. Billions of Likes are made every day, and Liking things is a simple way to express yourself.For many years though, people have asked us to add a "dislike" button. Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy. These are important moments where you need the power to share more than ever, and a Like might not be the best way to express yourself.At a recent Townhall Q&A, I shared with our community that we've spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to give you better options for expressing yourself, while keeping the experience simple and respectful. Today we're starting to test this.Reactions gives you new ways to express love, awe, humor and sadness. It's not a dislike button, but it does give you the power to easily express sorrow and empathy -- in addition to delight and warmth. You’ll be able to express these reactions by long pressing or hovering over the Like button. We’re starting to test Reactions in Ireland and Spain and will learn from this before we bring the experience to everyone. We hope you like this – or can better express how you’re feeling!Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, 8 October 2015
The decision hasn't come lightly, according to Bloomberg's in-depth report the decision to update the Like button was one that involved consultation with sociologists to carefully create a range of emotions that could accurately capture huge variety of posts that are placed on Facebook.
Zuckerberg admitted in a statement along with the video of Reactions that this was very deliberately designed as an alternative to the Dislike button, a feature that users have long been asking for.
"Reactions gives you new ways to express love, awe, humor and sadness. It's not a dislike button, but it does give you the power to easily express sorrow and empathy -- in addition to delight and warmth. You’ll be able to express these reactions by long pressing or hovering over the Like button."
When you first start seeing Reactions on the desktop and in the app you'll only see a Like button. Simply hold down on the Like button and the new range of Reactions will appear.
You then simply slide along and pick the most appropriate one. Users can then see a small number underneath each of the Reactions that have been used so they can gauge quickly the general feeling about what has been posted.