Facebook is making perhaps the biggest change to its site this decade, rolling out emoji as a way of reacting to posts alongside the famous “Like” button.
The company is introducing Reactions instead of the much-requested dislike button, as a way of allowing people to react in more complex ways to updates. Many people wanted a dislike button to press as a way of reacting to bad news, but the site worried that the tool might be used in negative ways.
Instead, it will give people six different emoji-based Reactions that they can post alongside the like button. Those will include “Love”, “Haha”, “Yay”, “Wow”, “Sad” and “Angry”, each of which has a corresponding picture.
The site announced last year that it was testing out the reactions in six different countries. The buttons stay largely unchanged from that early test, with just one of the reactions getting dropped.
The “Yay” button, which depicted a little smiley face with rosy cheeks, has been removed. The button proved a problem because it was “not universally understood”, according to a spokesperson.
The team picked the six reactions by consulting with sociologists, according to Bloomberg. The site also analysed how people tended to react to posts, and attempted to condense those into the emoji-based Reactions.
The Reactions will be used by clicking and holding on the Like button, which will still show underneath every post. Doing that wil bring up a menu of different reactions, and allow users to select any of them.
When that is done, each of the reactions will join a tally underneath the post, adding up all of the different reactions.