Last week, Facebook announced that it would be testing Reactions, a new set of empathy buttons designed for when clicking “Like” just doesn’t cut it or feels just plain awkward. This
announcement comes after years of speculation that a “thumbs down” button might wiggle its way into the social networking platform.
With nearly half of Facebook users accessing the social network primarily on their mobile devices, it became necessary to develop a quick way for people to express a wider range of emotions, especially when they’re on the go and less likely to type a comment. According to Facebook’s chief product officeChris Cox, the company studied which comments and reactions were most commonly and universally expressed on the site, then worked to design an experience around them.
These Reactions — which come in the form of six emoji consisting of love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness and anger — allow us Facebook fans to communicate a wider range of reactions to the variety of, maybe, less likeable content that shows up in our newsfeeds.
So far, only Facebook users in Ireland and Spain have access to these new features, these folks comprising smaller test groups with fewer international connections. But, fear not, Facebook friend, the feedback from this pilot will help improve the overall experience for the rest of us when it comes time to roll out worldwide.
But what does all this mean for businesses and marketers? For one thing, the access to more granular data will provide better engagement insights revealing what types of messaging and content drives specific audience emotions so that they can work to create more of what’s working.
What’s not to Like about that?
[This post originally appeared on InkHouse's blog, Inklings]