Facebook finally launched its “Reactions” feature globally today, adding five new emotions to the standard Like button and creating a new digital etiquette conundrum.
Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry join Like on the web, iOS and Android. Each is represented by an animated emoji-like image, which reacts as you move your mouse or finger past them.
Facebook started testing Reactions in Spain and Ireland in October, and at the time also included a “Yay” reaction. But last month, chief product officer Chris Cox told Bloomberg that Yay wasn’t internationally understandable.
The new Reactions are a response to some users’ hesitance to Like negative status updates. While users have long wanted a “Dislike” button, Zuckerberg said that it would be too negative. The new set of Reactions allow users to react in more appropriate ways, but are harder to use for abuse than a dislike button may have been.
However, they have their own set of etiquette questions. Will your girlfriend be upset if you Love someone else’s status? Is Haha laughing at someone or with them? And will the new Reactions ever be accepted as verbs, as in “Did you Sad his status?” Facebook has changed the meaning of Like, but will it be able to change the meaning of Angry or Wow? Only time will tell.
To access the Reactions, users can hover over the like button on the desktop or press and hold on mobile apps. Like is still the default though, and statuses can be Liked with a quick tap. To see Reactions on your post or a friend’s post, you can just click the like button. It’ll show the total Reactions, then the count for each individual Reaction in separate tabs.