Today is a big day in the evolution of Facebook, as the social media giant is debuting its new “reaction button” feature, responding to countless requests for an extension to the Like button.
Reaction buttons allow users to do more than just “like” a post. In addition to the old s
tandby “like” (represented by a thumbs-up), available reactions now include “love” (represented by a heart), “haha” (a laughing smiley face), “wow” (an open-mouthed emoji), “sad” (a crying emoji) and angry (a red-faced, scowling emoji).
Your News Feed is the equivalent of the workplace water cooler. It’s where you can get updates about your friends, family, recent events and brands you have expressed interest in. Facebook has said that its goal with the News Feed is to display the stories that matter most to you. As marketers, we all know that Facebook has an algorithm in place to ensure that quality content of interest to users is presented to them in their News Feeds.
Facebook has been testing reaction buttons in select markets since last year, and the new tools are now being made available for use globally. This immensely changes how users will be able to interact on the platform — and it will dramatically impact the way we as marketers interact with our followers.
Will this change affect my News Feed?
Initially, when someone uses a reaction button, Facebook will treat it as it has traditionally treated a Like. It won’t matter whether users click a “wow” or a “sad,” the Facebook algorithm will treat it as a Like. Over time, Facebook hopes to learn how a specific user is employing reaction buttons and deliver content to that person accordingly.
What effects will this change have on my business page?
There is no beating around the bush on this one — the new reaction-button options will change how you manage your company Facebook account. But we see this more as an opportunity than anything else. Reaction buttons will help you better gauge what type of content your followers want to see. Did readers like your post? Did they find it funny? As marketers, we will be able to gather better, more meaningful results with our testing, allowing us to post more of the content our followers find most meaningful.
So what’s next?
Facebook has stated that it wants to roll out this new feature thoughtfully. Few specifics surrounding the rollout were announced — however, we expect that through gradual iOS and Android application updates, users will begin to see the new feature. Have patience during this rollout, and happy reaction-button debut day!