Have you ever read a particularly ridiculous or offensive social media status and thought to yourself, “Wow, I could really use a dislike button right about now”?
Wish no more. Your request has (kind of) been fulfilled with Facebook’s newest addition: Reaction Emojis. The set of animated emotions includes Like, Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad, and Angry and is currently being beta-tested in Ireland and Spain. Instead of giving users the dislike button they so adamantly appealed for, Zuckerberg and his crew explained that this solution gives users a wider range of emotions to express.
To use the feature, Facebookers will long-press the “like” button until the six new reactions pop up, as if you were choosing different skin tones of emojis on your phone keyboard. Posts will then show reaction counts alongside the comments that will look like this: 7 Likes, 4 Yays, 2 Angrys, etc.
The reasons for the range of reactions instead of the simple addition of a “dislike” button are plentiful, but one stands out: Facebook didn’t want users to troll their friend’s posts with a plethora of “thumbs down” responses, in the fear that Facebook usage would decline overall.