Facebook's New Emojis; Like, Love, Wow or do they Make you Angry?

Facebook recently released their long awaited dislike button. Except they didn’t. Instead of releasing a dislike button, the company instead gave us a variety of different “reactions” from which to choose. Since that time there’s been tremendous chatter about what it means. So I thought I’d do a round-up of interesting articles about the new buttons.

It’s interesting to look a bit into why Facebook has introduced reactions, instead of just adding a dislike button. An article in Wired adds some insight:

Emoji are more than playful shorthand for the written word. Nearly 70 percent of meaning derived from spoken language comes from nonverbal cues like body language and facial expression, says Vyvyan Evans, a professor of linguistics at Bangor University who studies the use of emoji in communication. “The stratospheric rise of emoji,” in text messaging, on Facebook, and elsewhere, he says, “is essentially fulfilling the function of nonverbal cues in spoken communication.”

Like any seemingly simple project, creating the reaction buttons wasn’t simple. A post on Medium from a Facebook product designer details the project. In a similar way that communicators tackle problems, they first determined what the problem was they were solving. Namely two issues: what are the reactions we will use beyond “like” and how will people input and consume reactions.

What communicators need to know.

It’s no secret communicators will need to start tracking which posts get the most of whatever reaction is desired. But it will continue to be important to look at overall engagement so a “reaction” still doesn’t rank as high as a comment since comments take longer to write.

  • If your brand or product is designed to elicit an emotion, you’ll want to be even more aware of how the reactions are being used within your social media postings, according to Ketchum. Their post, what brands need to know, provides a good primer around the new emoji.

  • Facebook counts only show the top three reactions each post has received so you’ll need to look further into your page’s Facebook Insights to see the total count for all six reactions to a post, according to a Mashable post including several useful tips.

  • The “reactions” introduction has also brought another barrage of stories about Facebook knowing more about you and your likes/dislikes based upon the different emojis you use on stories. They can then use this information to help advertisers target better.

  • Facebook said it would decide later how new reactions should be weighted to personalize news feeds. But that is not soon enough for advertisers who want to fine-tune their messages now. (Reuters, 2/24/16)

I’ll keep an eye on how this rolls out and give you updates, especially if you let me know what you’d like to know.

How to Use the Reactions

There have been several posts dealing with how to use the “reactions.” If you haven’t figured it out yet, this article from iDigitalTimes will help: http://bit.ly/1VPzx3A.

Finally, in today’s world of bad news and negativity, I think it’s very promising that Mark Zuckerberg says “love is the most popular reaction so far.”

Which reaction do you like the best? Which have you used the most?

The Barber Group

Gig Harbor, Washington


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