No Dislike Button, But Facebook Begins Testing Reactions

By David Cohen Comment

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Dislike button? No. Reactions? Yes. Facebook began testing an extension of its like button on iOS, Android and desktop in Ireland and Spain.

In addition to the iconic thumbs-up like, Facebook users can respond to posts with love, yay, haha, wow, angry and sad. The feature will be available on posts from friends, posts from pages and News Feed ads.

Product manager Chris Tosswill explained the impact of Reactions on pages and ads in a Newsroom post:

We see this as an opportunity for businesses and publishers to better understand how people are responding to their content on Facebook. During this test, page owners will be able to see Reactions to all of their posts on page insights. Reactions will have the same impact on ad delivery as likes do. We will spend time learning from this initial test and use that feedback to improve.

Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox introduced Reactions in a Facebook post:

Today we’re launching a pilot test of Reactions—a more expressive like button.

As you can see, it’s not a “dislike” button, although we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly. We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, and then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun. Starting today, Ireland and Spain can start loving, wowing or expressing sympathy to posts on Facebook by hovering or long-pressing the like button wherever they see it. We’ll use the feedback from this to improve the feature and hope to roll it out to everyone soon.

Co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg chimed in with a post of his own:

Today we’re launching a test of Reactions–a more expressive like button.

The like button has been a part of Facebook for a long time. Billions of likes are made every day, and liking things is a simple way to express yourself.

For many years, though, people have asked us to add a “dislike” button. Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy. These are important moments where you need the power to share more than ever, and a like might not be the best way to express yourself.

At a recent town-hall Q&A, I shared with our community that we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to give you better options for expressing yourself, while keeping the experience simple and respectful. Today we’re starting to test this.

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. You’ll be able to express these reactions by long pressing or hovering over the like button.

We’re starting to test Reactions in Ireland and Spain and will learn from this before we bring the experience to everyone. We hope you like this–or can better express how you’re feeling!

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Facebook director of product for News Feed Adam Mosseri told Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch the social network chose Ireland and Spain because the two countries’ user bases are mostly national, without extensive international friend networks, making them ideal test beds.

Mosseri told Lunden there are currently no plans to add Reactions to Messenger or other Facebook-owned applications, adding that many users had turned to stickers as a quick way to respond to friends’ posts, and:

Typing on mobile is difficult, and this is way easier than finding a sticker or emoji to respond to in the feed.

He also told Lunden allowing users to turn the feature off was “something we considered,” but Facebook decided against it, adding:

If you think about the user experience first, that option could become confusing, with people thinking something was broken instead.

Readers: What is your reaction to Facebook Reactions?

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