Facebook sparked both excitement and dread in September when CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the company was working on a way to let people “Dislike” posts. Now we’re getting our first look at how ‘Dislike’ may actually be implemented.
The social network is testing a new feature called Reactions, a new lineup of emoji that people will be able to select as an alternative to the thumbs-up “Like.” The alternative emojis include symbols for “Love,” “Haha,” “Yay,” “Wow,” “Sad,” and “Angry.” They’re available on all posts, including from Pages and advertisers, on both desktop and mobile.
For now, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the emojis are being tested in Spain and Ireland only, with no public timetable for a rollout to other countries.
Facebook has several reasons for wanting to expand beyond the “Like” button. Providing more reaction options will make users more likely to interact with content that is not necessarily positive, which will in turn make Facebook’s News Feeds algorithms better at surfacing content people really care about. On mobile, the new emojis will serve as a more convenient shorthand for conveying emotions compared to writing out a comment. And the new emojis will serve as new data points for advertisers to gauge the sentiments users have around different types of content, which could make ad targeting more effective in the future.