Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Facebook Reactions

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Facebook Reactions

If you regularly visit Facebook, odds are you have noticed some new icons on Facebook posts.

Where there used to just be a simple thumbs up icon, you may now see a variety of smiley faces, or even a heart. These new icons are part of the Facebook Reactions that Facebook recently rolled out.

New Icons?

Even if you do frequent Facebook regularly, it is very possible that this review is the first you have heard of Facebook Reactions. The reason is that it isn’t immediately apparent how to use the new options if it hasn’t been explained to you, because the user interface hasn’t changed.

The old “like” button appears on every post, but there aren’t obvious buttons to produce the other reactions.

In order to do anything other than like a post, you have to hover over the “like” button until a pop up menu gives you other options.

Facebook Reactions In-Depth

Facebook Reactions increase the ways you can non-verbally respond to a post. In addition to being able to like a post, you can now also express shock (wow), anger, love, sadness, and even laugh at a post.

All these reactions are awesome, except for the blushing face. The blushing face is a lie.

There are some limits to this new system, though.

First, you can not express multiple reactions for a post. You can change your reaction, if you want, but you simply can’t laugh and love at the same time.

Second, Facebook Reactions only apply to the initial post. Comments are still restricted to simply being liked or not.

Third, only the top three reactions (ordered by number of reactions given) are visible on the post. Anyone who can read the post can click on the reactions to get a more complete accounting of how many of each type of reaction was given and who gave each reaction type.

Where is the Dislike Button?

Simply put, there isn’t a dislike button. Mark Zuckerberg announced in 2014 that Facebook would never include a dislike button, because he doesn’t think such a button is a force for social good and doesn’t want to see posts getting demeaned on Facebook in that way.

Bullying Concerns

Facebook reactions were released worldwide on February 24th, 2016, which happens to coincide with Anti-Bullying Day in Canada.

This is rather appropriate because there are some concerns that the new system could be used for bullying. Whether this concern is merited has yet to be seen.

There are some who believe that Facebook Reactions can actually be used to fight bullying. And while Facebook hasn’t made any direct statements on the matter beyond those made when referencing a potential “dislike” button, at least one part of the feature does seem to combat bullying.

Since only the top three reactions are visible on any post, even if a few individuals do give inappropriately negative reactions to a post (like anger on a happy post), those reactions are likely to be hidden from view by the positive reactions.

Additionally, at least in the first 24 hours, the system doesn’t seem to be getting abused yet. On one of the most abused Facebook pages in history, Feminist Frequency, not a single person has yet to post an “angry” response to any post.

Final Analysis

It is too early to tell for sure whether Facebook Reactions will become popular, but the initial response by Facebook users shows a lot of excitement.

The system has been thoroughly tested for months in other countries, so hopefully the bugs are fully worked out.

Even if interest fades, the flexibility of Facebook Reactions is sure to increase the overall value of Facebook for private and commercial users alike.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments section below!


Article by

Mickey has degrees in linguistics and logic from a top 25 university. He has been writing online for the approximately five years, specializing in gaming, hobbies, and media. He has never missed a deadline. Quality and speed are equally important to Mickey and he'll never sacrifice one for the other.

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