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Facebook Reactions: Site adds five more ways of Liking something

The Reactions are Facebook’s way of offering the much-requested dislike button, and have been in testing for months

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 24 February 2016 15:30 GMT
A Facebook logo made up from pictures of users. Many teens are turning their back on the social network
A Facebook logo made up from pictures of users. Many teens are turning their back on the social network (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)

Facebook is finally rolling out its Reactions buttons, adding five new ways of Liking things.

The site is adding five new pictures — a heart, a laughing face, a shocked one, sad and angry — as well as the thumbs-up signified by a Like.

The new pictures are activated by holding down the Like button while using the app, or by hovering over it on the desktop. They’ll show up in the same way that Likes did, in a counter next to the post, and the site will show who has reacted in what specific way.

Facebook has already been testing out the Reactions in “a few markets” since last year. Those tests led to it dropping one of the buttons, after it proved confusing.

It said also that it had been conducting testing “for more than a year”, including showing the tool to focus groups and using surveys. That helped engineers pick the five reactions that would go into the feature, it said — which notably doesn’t include the much-requested Dislike button, which the Reactions are intended to replace.

Facebook reactions - Dislike?

Facebook said that it had decided which to include by looking at “how people are already commenting on posts and the top stickers and emoticons as signals for the types of reactions people are already using”.

The site did say that it will “continue learning and listening to feedback to make sure we have a set of reactions that will be useful for everyone”, suggesting that the company might add new reactions or change them in the future.

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