Facebook has reactions!

How does it work?

The easiest way to think about Reactions is as an extension of the existing like button. The feature works with any post on Facebook where you see the Like button. You click and hold for a second for the reactions to come up (or hovering over it with your mouse if you’re on a desktop browser) and then they will open up a panel of six different reactions you can add to a post. The first is, of course, “like,” followed by “love,” “haha,” “yay,” “wow,” “sad” and “anger.”

Each reaction comes with an emoji (emoji’s are more than playful shorthand for the written word), which will be displayed alongside the number of likes underneath a post. As with a regular “like,” you can only add one reaction to a given post (so you couldn’t “like” and “yay” the same post, for example.)

And Then There Were Six

Facebook decided to focus on the sentiments its users expressed most often. Zhuo and the team began by analysing how a subset of Facebook users from around the world used the platform. They looked at the most frequently used stickers, emoji, and one-word comments and found a few common emotional threads amidst an ocean of diverse sentiments. “When we built the stickers for Facebook the most common thing people sent was love,” Keltner says. People used the hearts-in-the-eyes emoji more than any other. They were also prone to expressing humour, sadness, and shock through visual means. The team took a subset of reactions that cut across the emotional spectrum and removed redundancies like sympathy and sadness, and joy and love. Then they tested them with users.

And there to have it! That is how we now have the Facebook reactions!

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