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Wow: Facebook launches 'Reactions' worldwide

Admin | 4:28:00 PM |
Facebook has added a select group of emoticons to allow users to react to posts - without having to use anything as old fashioned as, you know, actual words.

The social network rolled out "Reactions" - an extension of the "Like" button - worldwide on Wednesday, allowing people to display quick reactions such as sadness, anger and love.

In a video accompanying a blog post, the five new buttons appear as animated emoticons that pop up when the "Like" button is held down on mobile devices.

The buttons appear on desktops when users hover over the "Like" button.

Facebook launched a pilot of "Reactions" - which allowed users to select from seven emotions including "Angry", "Sad", "Wow" and "Like" - in Ireland and Spain in October.

The "Yay" emotion, which was present in the pilot launch, was not seen in Wednesday's video.

The company will also use "Reactions" to track user behaviour and for ad delivery.

"We will initially use any Reaction similar to a Like to infer that you want to see more of that type of content," Facebook said in separate blog post.

Facebook said that over time it hoped to learn how different "Reactions" should be weighted differently by the Facebook News Feed to customise it for individual users.

Facebook said "Reactions" would have the same impact on ad delivery as "Likes".

The feature received mixed reviews from users on social networking sites.

Many complained that they could not see the new emotions, while some were unhappy that Facebook did not launch a "dislike" button.

Others expressed concern that the feature would lead to diminished use of language and less interaction.

Great, now you don't even have to offer actual words, just a freaking emoji. What's the point in learning a language at all then?", Candice Johnson wrote on the social network.

A GUIDE TO USING REACTIONS

What Facebook has not rolled out - and really, can't roll out - are usage norms to go along with them.

When is it appropriate to "like" vs "love"? When is the "wow" face just ... kinda rude?

Here are some Facebook Reaction rules. Whether they actually catch on, well - that is up to you.

Like: The understated white bread of Facebook reactions, this says more about the likers than it does the posts they like. Likers are indifferent both to Facebook changes and to your post, as well. Their thumbs-up acknowledges that they have seen it, but that they couldn't really be bothered to work up much of an emotional reaction. Likers are cool, distant, dispossessed: They know better than to be earnest on the internet.

Love: Deploy the heart when you really like something - this is the "like", but with feeling. "Love" is patient, kind and unironic. It is an unbridled show of positivity. In instances of tragedy, one imagines, the "love" button will also double as a signal of empathy and support. But in general, expect this to be the high-pitched "omg, love it" of reaction emoji.

Haha: LOL, LMAO, ROFL, call it what you will: Use this reaction when something has made you laugh, whether out loud or in your head. The "haha" occupies a difficult space: Many of the things you find funny also provoke amazement (wow) and appreciation (love). Keep your audience in mind for this. You don't want to be the ones dropping hearts in an "lol" kind of crowd.

Wow: Broadly applicable to fake news articles, overshare-y personal rants and most of the things your relatives post, the wow will become Facebook's much-needed wordless expression of muted disdain and skepticism. This is "wow" in the "... are you serious?" sense, and not "wow" as in r/EarthPics. It is a good way to signal your disapproval for something without coming across like a complete prig.

Sad: Given Facebook's cultural and algorithmic preferences for everything positive and upbeat, it's difficult to imagine too many scenarios where the "sad" will be needed. You could try it on those personal announcements - deaths, divorces, etc - that have historically seemed inappropriate to "like". But isn't an emoji kind of disingenuous, there? We think the heart goes a lot farther in telling someone you care.

Angry: A little too aggressive for direct confrontation, the angry face is ideal for expressing righteous solidarity -- as in, "I am EQUALLY outraged by this ridiculous news article/political gaffe/stupid and unavoidable meme". Use it when you agree with the poster, not when you yourself are angered by what he posted. Otherwise you come off as passive-aggressive and kind of impetuous.

HOW TO GET THE NEW REACTIONS

Desktop: Just hover over the Like button, and the new reactions will pop up in a bar above. Each post will show the top three reactions it has received. Clicking on those will show how many people have used each reaction.

Mobile: In the Facebook app, close down the app and reopen it. Once you hit the Like button, a message will appear that instructs you to hold down on that button to bring up the other reactions. The reactions are only available to use on posts, pictures and videos — not on individual comments.

Source: Stuff.co