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Posted by Robert Somers

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Facebook re-invents Like button: What does it mean for marketers?

OFFICIALLY live in Australia as of Thursday, Facebook users now have a more detailed way to express their feelings through a range of new emojis. Positioned next to the “like” button, the new emojis of “haha”, “love”, “wow”, “sad” and “angry”, are set to take the awkward moment out of “liking” depressing or upsetting Facebook posts.

 

facebook-likes-reactions-feature

 

How do Facebook Reactions work?

On mobile, users can hold down on the “like” button to reveal more options; on desktop, users can simply hover over the “like” button to tap an emoji.

 

Why the change?

A dislike button has actually been in the pipeline for a few years, but not because people want to tell friends they don’t like their posts.

People wanted to express empathy and share a wider range of emotions comfortably, without being restrained to the “like” button.

Not every moment people want to share is happy. Sometimes Facebook users want to share something sad or frustrating.

For example, if somebody announces on Facebook that their dog has died, then a ‘sad face’ would be the appropriate Reaction, rather than a dismissive ‘Like’.

How will Facebook Reactions impact marketers?

The potential biggest impact for marketers will be how the new Reactions change the way Facebook chooses what content to show in a particular person’s newsfeed.

Right now, Facebook’s algorithm rates a post with a high number of ‘Likes’, ‘Comments’ and ‘Shares’ as popular, and therefore shows the post to more people.

On Thursday Facebook announced the different emotions will be treated the same as a normal ‘Like’.

But it went on to say that the weighting of emotions will change over time.

Put simply, one ‘heart’ might be worth as much as three ‘Likes’ some time in the future, and that will allow savvy posters to extend their reach significantly.

At ROI.com.au, we’ll be keeping a close eye on how the different Reactions are being treated differently by news feeds.

We also see this as an opportunity for Australian businesses to better understand how people are responding to their content on Facebook.

It’s a chance for brands to put themselves out there and access more detailed feedback from their social media.

More options means more engagement?

This is a brand new toy, so we are predicting that people will want to play with it a lot over the next few months.

This opens up far higher engagement on individual posts. More options for engagement will increase user interaction, which means it’s a good time to pay attention to your business’s Facebook page.

Emotional targeting?

Will the new additions trigger a new wave of targeting strategies? Perhaps Facebook will allow advertisers to target users based on their current mood? If one person has an angry reaction to various posts will advertisers be able to target them specifically?

‘Angry, stressed? Take a holiday. Airfares on sale NOW”.

Initial feedback

Some users are praising the new post options while others are saying the easy-click option will see the world “communicating in only mumbles and grumbles soon”.

It also remains to be seen whether Reactions will reduce the amount of comments posted as a reply to an original post.

The new Facebook reactions options have already started trending on Twitter with #Facebookreactions.

Many users have questioned why a “dislike” button was not included in the line-up of buttons.

Perhaps Facebook is protecting advertisers from being hit with negative feedback about their ads?