So recently it was announced that Facebook is going to get a brand new feature, although most tech-savvy people have known about it for a while. Of course, we are referring to ‘reactions’. Facebook reactions are six new emojis (small icons, such as smiley faces) that will be added to the roster next to ‘likes and shares’.
So what are these new reactions? Well, they consist of Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad and angry. Of course, the old ‘like’ will still be there. Facebook actually calculated which emotions would be most appropriate. Facebook tracked what people were saying on comments (such as Ha Ha) and also what stickers they sent to others. Using this, they extrapolated which emotions would work. But why else did Facebook roll out this feature? Not long ago, Zuckerberg announced a ‘dislike’ button, that would allow users to ‘dislike’ posts as well as ‘like’ them. However, this was scrapped due to the fact it could encourage issues such as cyberbullying, and arguably it was unnecessary. Another issue with the ‘dislike’ is that it was ambiguous, it could mean sad or angry, or whatever depending on context. That said, there were other reasons. Facebook reports were constantly being issued by members of the public who thought the lack of emoticons (emotional icons, another for emojis) was an actual glitch. The handy thing about these new ones, are that it’s quite clear what you mean.
To access these new reactions, which at the moment are being tested in Spain and Ireland, you simply hold down the ‘like’ button, and the new emotions will reveal themselves. So what could this mean for the average Facebook user? Probably not a whole lot. Now when they see ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ they’ll also see how many people clicked the other emoticons as well. It’s arguably a purely cosmetic change, although one that has been requested since time immemorial.
Time will tell if any issues will arise with this new feature, but for now, everyone seems to have selected the ‘Yay’ icon for this new function!