Last fall, Facebook announced that it would be releasing “Reactions,” a revamped version of the “like” button that allows users to interact with posts in more ways than just a thumbs up.
The social media network officially rolled out Reactions this week, and users now have the ability to react to posts with one of six emojis: “like,” “love,” “haha,” “wow,” “sad” and “angry.”
The initial idea for Reactions came in early 2015, when Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg gathered a team together based on the fact that many users were providing feedback that indicated they wanted more nuanced ways to react to status updates. In the past, users had to either write a comment or post a sticker to give a more insightful response than a like.
The rise in mobile devices has been a big reason for this change. As of last December, approximately 1.44 billion were accessing Facebook on smart phones and tablets. For people who access the site on both a daily and monthly basis, 90 percent of them do it on a mobile device. And because composing lengthy responses can take more time on these devices compared to desktop computers, people wanted a way to more quickly provide feedback based on their feelings.
Of course, this raised the issue of how to choose which emotions to represent among the emojis. After all, there are far more than just six human emotions, but from design standpoint, it’s difficult to be able to squeeze many in to the social network’s interface. Facebook decided it would focus on the emotions its users most often conveyed—and ultimately narrowed it down to these six.
How will this affect brands?
At this point, how Facebook Reactions will impact brands engaged in social media content marketing is largely unknown.
On the one hand, the fact that there are more reactions available to users creates more engagement possibilities for each post or status updates. It also gives marketers a more accurate barometer for their followers’ feelings about individual posts or their overall brands. In fact, some advertisers have responded very positively to the changes.
However, there is also the very real chance that certain emojis could be used negatively, which means brands may have to deal with a greater amount of less-than-friendly feedback than they had to in the past. Sponsored posts showing up in newsfeeds have already been generating a fair amount of “angry” emojis, likely because people did not ask for these posts to show up on their home pages when accessing Facebook.
Although this is a substantial change in the world of social media content marketing, brands will continue to evolve their approach and find new ways to adapt to Facebook Reactions. This includes innovations that will help them make good use of the more specific feedback they’ll receive from fans and customers.
ProPRcopy offers engaging social media content writing services for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and various other platforms.