Facebook Reactions was teased by Mark Zuckerberg late last year, though it was in testing for quite awhile before he decided the feature was worth casually mentioning in the press. You may recall hearing that there “wouldn’t be a ‘dislike’ button,” but that there would be an expanding of available reactions other than “Like.”
Afterward, Facebook rolled out Reactions to only a handful of countries for testing:
Most of them have had this feature since October, with Japan coming on board just a couple of weeks ago in 2016. The U.S. hasn’t yet been added to this list, though Chris Cox, the chief product officer for Facebook, said in an interview with Bloomberg that the feature would be introduced to the U.S. and the rest of the world “in the next few weeks.”
What Facebook Reactions Will Look Like
The first thing you should know is that the Facebook “Like” button isn’t going away any time soon. Facebook Reactions will be an extension of the popular like. To use one of the Reactions, you’ll simply hover over the like and the other reaction icons will pop-up. They’re each based on the most-common sentiments that have been expressed in comments on Facebook:
- yay* (may be done away with, as it is not “universally understood”)
In addition to now seeing how many times a post has been liked, Facebook will also break it out into how many wows, hahas, loves, and so on.
What Facebook Reactions Mean For Pages
It feels like we’re all so used to talking about “likes,” that adding more into the mix is going to feel a bit cumbersome at first. But like anything on Facebook, it won’t be long before these new pieces mean for you and your brand.
This change will certainly mean some tweaks and changes to the algorithm we already love to hate. Any time there is a change in the Facebook algorithm organically, it usually means little tweaks for how much you pay when you advertise your photography business.
How Facebook will incorporate reactions to content like “angry” or “sad” in terms of the algorithm still remains to be seen – until now, negative sentiment has been only based upon reactions like reporting a post as spam or unliking your page. It’s simply a guess, at best, that prompting a reaction like “angry” or “sad” would be better than no reaction whatsoever, but that is just a guess.
The goal with the new ways to express the way a post feels for a user was to create a universal vocabulary that can be used as people scroll their News Feed. Especially popular in Asia, emoji and “stickers” are used constantly in messaging apps like Like and WeChat, and they are increasingly popular in the United States, as well.
Knowing that Facebook reactions are heading our way in a few weeks’ time, I encourage you to create a benchmark of your Insights now. Download the last couple of months worth of data and see what those Insights say about your organic picture. We all watch the day-to-day, but having everything laid out in a month-over-month or year-over-year is helpful to see what’s been happening with your strategy. Then you can effectively gauge how these new Reaction interactions have been affecting your Page performance once they’ve been out to everyone for around a month or so.