Since the launch of the Facebook ‘like’ button in 2009, many users of the social networking site have demanded a ‘dislike’ button, and in September this year, speculation occurred that these demands may finally be met. However, instead of the simple ‘dislike’ button most users were hoping for, Facebook has instead launched 6 new emoji’s which they have called ‘reactions’.Instead of simply being able to ‘like’ a post, users will now be able to react in the following ways: Like, Love, Yay, Wow, Sad, or Angry. Founder and CEO at Facebook Mark Zuckerberg explains “Reactions gives you new ways to express love, awe, humor and sadness. It’s not a dislike button, but it does give you the power to easily express sorrow and empathy — in addition to delight and warmth”.
So why have Facebook ignored the demand for an actual ‘dislike’ button? The answer is simple, Facebook, and some users alike, were worried the ‘dislike’ button would be a tool for bullying. Instead, these ‘reactions’ portray a generally more positive range of emotions allowing Facebook to stay a social networking site invested in positivity. As Zuckerberg argues these ‘reactions’ are “the best way to give you better options for expressing yourself, while keeping the experience simple and
The launch of these new emoji’s not only effects users, but has a considerable impact for businesses globally. Instead of simply finding out if users ‘like’ their campaign, businesses who use Facebook as a platform for their marketing campaigns will be able to receive a wider range of emotive feedback. This feedback, along with customers opinions gaged from other social networking sites such as twitter, allows businesses to identify which campaigns are successful, and more importantly, if users dislike their campaign in the form of a ‘sad’ or ‘angry’ reaction.
Facebook is beginning to test these ‘reactions’ in Ireland and Spain before launching them globally.