After Facebook announced in September that its users would soon be able to “express a wider range of emotions”, the social media platform is now delivering on that promise by adding 5 new ‘Reactions buttons’. The new Reactions buttons give you the opportunity to “love”, “haha”, “wow”, “sad” or “angry”. The original ‘like’ button is also still available. To use the new Reactions buttons simply hold down the Like button on your phone or hover over it on your computer.

Five Simple Looking Emoticons- A Year of Research

The new Reaction buttons might look simple, but it took Facebook a whole year of testing before rolling out this new feature. “We understand that this a big change, and want to be thoughtful about rolling this out,” wrote Sammi Krog, Facebook’s Product Manager on their company blog. Krog also wrote, “We also looked at how people are already commenting on posts and the top stickers emoticons as signals for the types of reactions people are already using to determine which reactions to offer”. An interesting fact that should be noticed is that the new buttons include “sad” and “angry”, but not the often-requested ‘dislike’ button. Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer at Facebook said that the ‘dislike’ button “had been rejected on the ground that it would sow too much negativity”. At this point, there are no plans to include the new buttons into Facebook’s other platforms like Messenger and Instagram. Note that it’s also not possible to use the Reactions buttons in the comment sections on Facebook.

Facebook Users Respond

Spain, Chile, Ireland, Portugal, the Philippines and Japan were already using the new feature as of October 2015. The Reaction that was used most in these test markets was ‘love’. In Spain, the amount of Reactions that were being used doubled since they were introduced in October. The rest of the world can now also use the new Reactions, and most people have been quite positive so far. It created a huge buzz on social media and #Reactions was even trending on Twitter on Wednesday. The only thing that is often complained about is the conspicuous lack of the ‘dislike’ button.

Will This Increase Negativity on Facebook?

Even though the ‘dislike’ button was not included, users now have the ability to click “sad” and “angry” on a post. And this can clearly increase negativity for any company’s posts. Users already had the ability to post negative comments on posts, but now it’s easier for them to express (sometimes unnecessary) negativity. Time will tell if all this will significantly increase negativity on Facebook, but it’s something that companies should definitely keep an eye on.

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