Tech

Starting Today You Can Do More Than Just “Like” Things On Facebook

You can “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad,” and “Angry” your friends’ Facebook posts now.

It’s not a dislike button, but heck, it’s pretty darn close.

Today, Facebook is rolling out a set of like button alternatives, called “reactions,” that let you react to posts on its platform via a number of different expressions.

The reactions are Facebook’s answer to requests for a “dislike” button. Many of the company’s users asked for that button so they could engage with friends’ posts when a comment or a like didn’t make sense — take a post about a death, for instance — and Mark Zuckerberg eventually came through.

The like will remain, but now you can “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad,” and “Angry” posts too. Facebook is rolling these reactions out globally today.

In tests, Facebook tried a “Yay” and “Confused” too, but those two didn’t make the cut.

“This is just the beginning,” Facebook engineering director Tom Alison told BuzzFeed News. “The team is still going to be looking at how people are using this. We’re going to be learning a lot. We’re going to be iterating on this.”

In its News Feed algorithm, Facebook will count each reaction in the same way it counts likes, said Alison. Though that doesn’t mean it won’t change over time.

Facebook will also not offer any special ad targeting capabilities based on how people react to posts. However, that data may eventually be valuable to advertisers looking to target their messaging more finely. Imagine, for instance, being able to write one product message for someone who mostly uses “Sad” and another who mostly uses “Wow” or “Love.”

Facebook users picked “Love” more than any other reaction during the product’s test phase. But Alison said that global events may cause shifts in the buttons’ use. “You’re going to see it change dynamically in response to things that are going on.”




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Alex Kantrowitz is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. He reports on social and communications.
Contact Alex Kantrowitz at alex.kantrowitz@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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