After months of rumors that Facebook is going to add a ‘dislike button’ that would allow users to express acknowledgement of a post but not endorse it with a ‘like’ the social media juggernaut has finally announced their plans: emoji reactions. Initially we were all told Facebook would be releasing the highly anticipated ‘dislike button’ that would allow users to recognize posts from their friends that were morbid or posts that were distasteful but deserve acknowledgement, aka any posts that someone should recognize but doesn’t want to like. Well, that ‘dislike button’ isn’t happening and instead we’re getting stuck with the worst set of emoji reactions I’ve ever seen. Why? Let’s discuss…
Facebook doesn’t give a flying fuck about its users. Facebook’s going to do whatever’s best for Facebook’s profitability, and if Facebook thinks that a ‘dislike button’ will hurt the bottom line then Facebook’s not going to add that dislike button even if billions of users want it. Facebook doesn’t want people disliking anything because they think that might hurt engagement, and Facebook cannot have that. Instead we’re getting stuck with this dumpster fire set of Facebook reaction emoji:
Today, Facebook is taking the wraps off what form the new Like may take. It is rolling out “Reactions,” a new set of six emoji that will sit alongside the original thumbs-up to let users quickly respond with love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness and anger.
Facebook tells us that the pop-up feature will first start out as a test in two markets only, Spain and Ireland, before it decides whether to tweak it and/or how to roll it out further.
Having more reactive set of emoji might sound familiar to you. In the wake of reports that Facebook was working on a “dislike” button in September, our resident Facebook whisperer Josh Constine suggested that Facebook might instead work on a small selection of emoji to convey a more nuanced set of responses. It turned out that Facebook had even filed a patent for how such an emoji response feature might work and look. (Those pointers appeared to be spot-on.)
More generally, a small set of reactive emoji is definitely not an unfamiliar interface for online users: social networks like Path and sites like Buzzfeed already give users the ability to respond to posts with different reactions beyond simple likes and faves.
The reactions will work simply enough. On mobile, the emoji will come up when you touch the like button on your screen; on desktop they will come up as you hover the mouse over the like or click on it.
I for one plan on blocking/removing anyone I see on Facebook that uses these emoji reactions, so if you’re looking to scrub me from your life then by all means PLEASE use one of these new Facebook reaction emojis and I’ll get to expunging your existence.
For more on the announcement of the Facebook reaction emojis and how they’ll work be sure to follow that link above to TechCrunch!