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25 February 2016

Marketing

Laugh, Cry or even throw a tantrum with Facebook's new 'Reactions' feature

Laugh, Cry or even throw a tantrum with Facebook's new 'Reactions' feature

As of yesterday, social media giant Facebook began to roll out ‘Reactions,’ the new expressive extension used in conjunction with the Like button.

SNOW WHITE AND THE FIVE ICONS

Extremely reminiscent of the famous fairytale plot, the five new expressive icons - Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry - will allow users to convey their emotions to a post in a more meaningful manner. Julie Zhuo, a Product Design Director at Facebook believes that “people needed a way to leave feedback that was quick, easy and gesture-based.”

Users can access the tool by long pressing the ‘Like’ button on a device or by hovering over the button if you are a desktop user.

(Source: Facebook)

Now available globally, the feature comes after almost a year of rigorous global research and numerous focus groups and surveys. Following a meeting with Mark Zuckerberg and department heads at Facebook HQ, the idea came as a way of allowing users to share how they feel about a post in a uniquely eloquent way whilst keeping to the easy and instant format of the existing ‘Like’ tool.

In their research, Facebook also analysed the most popular comments, stickers and emoticons users were already employing to convey their reaction to a post. The Facebook team used this research in order to select which emotions would be used for the five icons, agreeing that less was more in this case and chose a select amount of reactions from across the emotional spectrum.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BUSINESS ON FACEBOOK?

This new tool has huge possible implications for both companies and advertisers and will likely have a significant effect on what content is shared by businesses and the way in which companies analyse their audiences.

Sammi Krug, Product Manager at Facebook, believes that the new feature will give businesses the opportunity “to better understand how people are responding to their content on Facebook,” adding that “Page owners will be able to see reactions to their content on Page insights.”

This will also allow us here at FDC to more effectively market and share content through your digital and social media channels. Using Facebook’s Page insights, we can better understand how your audience are responding to certain types of content on Facebook and use this analysis to fine-tune and uniquely adapt our social media strategy to target your audience’s specific needs and post more relevant content that your audience finds both interesting and meaningful.

Facebook acknowledges that this tool is a reasonably new tool, hinting that they will be spending a lot of time analysing how people use the new feature and use feedback to develop and improve the product.

For now, you can love a picture of you and your BFFs, laugh at funny cat videos, gasp at shocking stories, cry at a touching image or display your uncontrollable anger for a status update from THAT person you can’t bring yourself to delete because of all the amazing gossip you’d be missing out on if you did!

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