Today, Facebook launched its new “reaction” buttons – for when a like or a comment isn’t enough. These emoji look-alikes are Facebook’s response to repeated requests for a dislike button over the years. In September 2015, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the team was testing a variation of the legendary thumbs-down.
“Not every moment is a good moment if you share something that’s sad like a refugee crisis that touches you or a family member passes away,” he said. “It may not be comfortable to ‘like’ that post… I do think it’s important to give people more options than liking it.”
And Zuckerberg delivered on options — the reaction buttons include “Like,” “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad,” and Angry,” so there’s a range of ways to express how you feel about a post.
Even though the dislike button didn’t really happen (which is kind of a good thing, because did we really need more negativity in our lives?) these buttons offer so many new ways to engage with content. Because why “like” a stunt meme when you can “love” it? Give it a “haha?” Are we going to be “wowing” cheer fashion now, or “sadding” posts about missed skills? We’re not quite yet sure how we’ll adapt our internet vocabularies to fit these new emoticons, but that’s something that’ll take time to develop. But apparently, so will these buttons.
“This is just the beginning,” Facebook engineering director Tom Alison told BuzzFeed News. “The team is still going to be looking at how people are using this. We’re going to be learning a lot. We’re going to be iterating on this.” Which means… more options, maybe even an emoji keyboard? That’s something we’d give a “wow.”