The like button is the engine of Facebook and its most recognized symbol. Facebook’s 1.6 billion users click on it more than 6 billion times a day—more frequently than people conduct searches on Google—which affects billions of advertising dollars each quarter. Facebook is preparing to test a new “reactions” feature that would allow users to reply to posts with more than a “Like”. Interestingly, Facebook rejected adding a simple “Dislike” button like the one that’s available on YouTube because they were worried about it generating too much negativity.
Essentially, Facebook will soon unveil a full bar of emoji next to its iconic Like button that includes faces for laughing, happiness, surprise, sadness and anger, as well as an option to tell someone you “love” their post. The solution would eventually be named Reactions. It will arrive soon. And it will expand the range of Facebook-compatible human emotions from one to six. According to Engadget, the new icons would appear under posts from users as well as brand pages. It is not yet clear whether the site has plans to introduce the reactions feature beyond Spain and Ireland.
Cox says Reactions’ biggest test so far was during the November terrorist attacks in Paris. Users in the test countries had options other than like, and they used them. “It just felt different to use Facebook that day,” he says.