While it’s not exactly the “dislike” button many Facebook users have clamored for, the social giant has launched a limited test of Reactions: six additional emoji icons for expressing feelings beyond the trademark “like” thumbs-up.
The new options, which Facebook is testing initially in Ireland and Spain starting Thursday, will pop up above the “like” icon in posts. The emojis are: love; haha; yay; wow; sad; and angry.
“We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun,” chief product officer Chris Cox wrote in a post on the site. He said Facebook will incorporate user feedback to improve the feature and that the company hopes to roll it out worldwide soon.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, in a webcast last month, revealed the company’s plans to test better ways for users to share their emotional response to a post or comment on the service.
“I do think that it’s important to give people more options than just ‘like’ as a quick way to emote and share what they’re feeling on a post, so we’ve been working on this for a while,” Zuckerberg said in the webcast. He added, “It’s surprisingly complicated to make an interaction that you want to be that simple.”
Neither partners nor individual users will be able to disable the Reactions feature, according to Facebook — which means marketers must steel themselves for “angry” or “sad” reactions, alongside “likes,” “loves” and “wows,” to material they share on the world’s biggest social network. The emojis will be available on Facebook web and mobile clients, across all News Feed and Pages posts.
Interestingly, Facebook’s move comes after summer smash hit Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out,” which featured multi-hued characters personifying such emotions as joy, anger, fear and sadness. For mobile text messages, the Unicode standard has long included a range of gestures, including a thumbs-up, thumbs-down, an “OK” sign and a pair of hands clapping.