Social media giant Facebook is rolling in a new era. On Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, they added “Reactions” five more buttons besides “Like” to express emotions about friends’ posts. Now you can respond with Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry to a post with cute emoticons to match. The new buttons are one of the biggest changes to Facebook and is meant to keep the social media network “fresh.”
The “Reactions” as Facebook is calling them include the regular “Like” thumbs-up, joined by a “throbbing heart for “Love,” a fuming face for “Angry,” a teary-eyed “Sad,” a laughing “Haha,” a surprised “Wow.” So far testing has shown the “Love” button to be the most used of the new lineup.
The new overhaul has been in the works for a year. Facebook developers consulted sociologists, “consulted with focus groups and conducted surveys,” in the quest to find the perfect emotions for their new buttons. According to CNN Money Facebook developers even looked at stickers and most popularly use emojis online to find out Facebook users would like the most.
Facebook product manager Sammi Krug said they wanted the emojis to be “universally understood and equally useful” Their goal King told CNN Money, “We wanted to be really, really careful about which reactions we [launched]. Are we giving people more tools to express themselves more accurately and authentically?”
Before going live internationally, Facebook tested the new emojis in several different countries to see the response. The countries include Spain, Ireland, Chile, and the Philippines. At the trial unveiling in October Facebook product manager Chris Cox said, “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.”
Two buttons did not make the final cut. An eyes-closed smile for “Yay” was part of the trial but was the most misunderstood, and, therefore, was discarded for the final launch. Also, the much-requested “dislike” button is missing from the roster and was never even considered for the trial. Facebook did not want the negativity of a dislike button. Cox said the new buttons cover the feeling, “As you can see, it’s not a ‘dislike’ button though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg originally discussed the possibility of a “dislike” button in September. Zuckerberg said, “If you’re sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events, like the refugee crisis, or if a family member passed away, then it may not feel comfortable to ‘like’ that post.” Now he explained the reason the company decided against the button, “That doesn’t seem like the kind of community that we want to create.”