Facebook has hinted on plans to launch ‘reactions’. This comes a long time after rumours on the existence of the value addition buttons on Facebook. ‘Reactions’ have been designed to express satisfaction and dissatisfaction on a particular comment or update. Now, the social network will allow you to express your feelings in a more nuanced way.
Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that the new functionalities are on pilot in Spain, Ireland and a few other places and they will be shown everywhere “pretty soon”. The reactions will add some complexity to something that is very simple, “when you only have a like button, if you share a sad piece of content or something that makes you angry, people may not have the tool to react to it.” The CEO added.
Facebook users will be given emoticons labelled “love”, “haha”, “wow”, “sad” and “angry” – or they can still just “like”.
Many people are on Facebook and it will be hard to get used to the new reactions. If somebody uploads a photo…do I just like the photo and then gossip about it with friends? Should I go ahead and press the “angry” button? Maybe “haha” will be better since one might not know if it’s a genuine laugh or not.
The reactions will also come in handy for Advertisers and PR firms who will be in a position to tell what consumers think about a product or service.
Simon Calvert, head of strategy at the marketing agency Lida, says if the new system accurately reflects human emotions then it will be very tricky. “Emotions travel five times faster than rational thought,” he said. “So the ability to build better emotional connections with consumers is something that advertisers really prize.”
Currently, Facebook Likes on a page have little relevance to a business since they are devalued. A company may have 20k likes from around the world but the massive number is not a guarantee that they will be converted to sales.
“They’re devalued because brands collect them mindlessly,” Mr Calvert explains. But he sees advertisers using Reactions in a far more sophisticated way to get insights into the emotions people feel about products.
The reactions will set a new trend in posting stuff on the social media. Most people will be discouraged since no one likes to be told the truth.