Facebook has rolled out its new Reactions buttons — but they might end up working the opposite of how people might expect.
The site added five new buttons that allow people to say whether they feel “love”, “haha”, “sad or “angry” about a post.
But the site has said that it will treat each of those buttons the same, when it comes to showing users ads and posts in their News Feed. That means that clicking to say you are angry or sad about a post will count as engaging with it, which will in turn feed into Facebook’s algorithms to mean that it is more likely to be shown to others.
Users might expect that expressing anger or sadness about a certain thing would mean that they don’t want to see it. But it actually means there’s more chance of it showing up again, since posts with high engagement are privileged by Facebook’s algorithm.
The site said that it would look to fine-tune the ways that Reacting to posts worked within users news feed at some point in the future.
Engagement decides which ads and posts from friends appear in news feeds.
10 facts you didn’t know about Facebook
10 facts you didn’t know about Facebook
Around 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day, with the site estimating in September last year that users had so far put up more than 250 billion images. That’s 4,000 photos uploaded every second and around 4 per cent of all photos ever taken, according to a study by Nokia.
Facebook’s logo is blue because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colour blind. “Blue is the richest color for me. I can see all of blue," said Zuckerberg in an interview with the New Yorker. The colour is so popular that Facebook’s campus store even sells nail polish in the exact shade named ‘social butterfly blue’.
Zuckerberg's famously low-key wardrobe (either a grey t-shirt or a hoodie) is so that the CEO saves time deciding what to wear each day. However, Zuckerberg is known to dress up when the occasion demands it. For a 2011 event with Barack Obama he showed up in a suit, with the president introducing himself by saying: “I’m Barack Obama and I’m the guy who got Mark to wear a jacket and tie.”
In July 2006 Zuckerberg turned down a $1 billion offer for the site from Yahoo. He was 22 years old at the time and owned 25 per cent of the company. Zuckerberg reportedly turned it down by saying “I don't know what I could do with the money. I'd just start another social networking site. I kind of like the one I already have.” He definitely made the right choice: Facebook is now valued at $135 billion.
A YouGov poll claimed that three-quarter of UK Facebook users' photos showed someone drinking or inebriated. However, the poll did ask users to estimate the number of boozy snaps themselves, and like all things on Facebook, there might have been an element of exaggeration involved.
Facebook operates a bounty hunter program – for bugs. Like many other big technology companies Facebook offers cash rewards to security researchers who point out flaws in the site’s code. The minimum payout is $500 and the largest prize to date has been $33,500.
More than a third of divorce filings in 2011 referenced Facebook, said a survey from UK-based legal firm Divorce Online. The exact figures may be an estimate, but with just under 8 trillion Facebook messages sent in 2013 it’s certain that a substantial body of evidence is to be found on the social network.
Zuckerberg isn’t much of a Twitter fan. Despite having nearly three hundred thousand followers on the service he’s only tweeted 19 times - once in 2012 and the rest in 2009. Although Facebook dwarfs twitter in terms of active users (1 billion compared with 200 million by some accounts) the micro-blogging site handles breaking news better. Facebook has introduced trending topics and hashtags to counter this.
Following the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 Iceland decided to rewrite their constitution using Facebook to solicit suggestions from citizens. Unfortunately, despite this forward thinking approach, the document was killed by politicians in mid-2013 for various (mostly technical) reasons.
You can browse Facebook upside down. Facebook currently supports more than 70 different languages – including English (Pirate) and English (Upside Down). Check the bottom of the column on the right of your newsfeed and click your current language to change!
Advertisers won’t be able to target their ads according to how people have used the Reactions, either. Marketers have expressed annoyance that they wouldn’t be able to target Hillary Clinton ads to people who have reacted angrily to Donald Trump posts, for instance, though that might come in the future.
Within News Feeds, Facebook doesn't show whether a post is making people feel a particular way. The Like count has been replaced by a count of the total number of reactions of any kind, and the post will show the top three Reactions that are being posted in response to an update.