In September of last year, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, announced at a Town Hall Q&A they were working on buttons that would show empathy. (See our original post for detailed information about the announcement.)
While many Facebook Users have been requesting a “dislike” button, the new buttons are not just a way to show that you “dislike” something. Chris Cox, Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, explained the new buttons in a post on his Facebook Page today. “As you can see, it’s not a “dislike” button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly. We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun.”
Originally, there were 6 new emojis to represent emotion, in addition to the Like button “love,” “haha,” “yay,” “sad,” “angry” and “wow.”
Facebook began testing the reaction buttons in Spain and Ireland.
The company also worked with sociologists to determine which emoji faces would make the cut by analyzing the most common reactions across the platform. A spokesperson told Bloomberg that they decided to axe the planned sixth “yay” button, because “it was not universally understood.”
The new emojis will also be animated. Some will bounce or change expression.
Currently, of the 1.6 billion Facebook users the “Like” button is hit 6 billion times a day. The additional buttons will be a bit of a change for the platform as the thumbs up “Like” has become a universal symbol.
The “Like” button was used by businesses on Facebook to track data and reaction. The new reaction buttons will soon allow businesses to really target users based on their “reaction” to an update.
Keep your eyes on Facebook, the new buttons will be rolling out to all Facebook users in the next few weeks.