It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago, we had only a “thumbs-up” option to like an update on Facebook, because the last year has been filled with loves, laughs and anger (lots of anger for some!) The Facebook Reaction Buttons are 1-year old!
And now, after a year of “reactions”, Facebook is updating its News Feed algorithm with a heavy emphasis on users’ use of the reaction buttons.
According to Facebook, a reaction is a stronger indicator that you want to see similar posts to the one you like. A Facebook spokesperson explained, “over the past year we’ve found that if people leave a Reaction on a post, it is an even stronger signal that they’d want to see that type of post than if they left a Like on the post. So, we are updating the News Feed to weigh reactions a little more than Likes when taking into account how relevant the story is to each person.”
Selecting a reaction button takes time, more than just clicking like. This increased time taken signals Facebook’s algorithm that you “care more” about the post. Though the reaction buttons are all weighted the same, it will not make a difference if you “love” something, it makes you “ha-ha” or you have “anger” toward the update, the reaction itself will signal the algorithm.
So, if you want to stop seeing something in your News Feed the best thing to do, besides hide the content, is to ignore it.
Facebook reactions are a hit among users. Reactions have been used a total of 300 billion times in the past year. The most popular reaction (aside from “like”) is the “Love” reaction. This reaction makes up more than half of all reactions used.
Whether you love the reaction buttons or they make you angry, they are popular. So, popular that they now contribute to the algorithm. This importance is a reminder that every action you or any Facebook user takes on Facebook influences your News Feed and it’s all about that News Feed.