A reaction to Facebook Reactions
Twitter’s been making a lot of changes to stay relevant recently, including adding GIFs and converting “favorites” into “likes.” While we were all enjoying the #GifParty, it wasn’t the biggest change that’s happened in social media in the last month. In February Facebook made a massive change: they upgraded the “like” button with a seven-dwarf-like lineup of emojis. Wired shares a video tour of the new reactions, and what they’re for:
Now, instead of just liking posts like drones, we can express how we really feel using emoticons. The choices that Facebook has given us are Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. How do we feel about this? A “love” may suffice, as it’s nice to now be able to express more than just a positive emotion to a post.
It’s sort of a similar situation to Disney’s “Inside Out” movie that came out last year, which featured a look inside a little girl’s head, and the five emotions that made her decisions. The emotions included anger, sadness, fear, disgust, happiness and sadness. These are pretty close to Facebook, so I suppose that they both landed on what our core emotions or reactions are.
Personally, I think it’s cool. Being able to better express opinions and feelings towards posts feels vital now that we have it. It seems awkward to “like” a post if it’s about a sad story, where the former thumbs-up button seemed to more-so represent support than enthusiasm. But I can’t help but wonder what other sentiments were considered, or could even be added in the future. What about a confused reaction? Eye roll? And then there’s the elusive “dislike” button. There have been rumors for years about its addition to Facebook, but it may not ever make it to the social media platform. Now that anger and sadness are options, do we really need it? Only time will tell.
Regardless, the “sadness” and “anger” reactions present the possibility for crisis for brands. Instead of not garnering a like, or even just a less-than-complimentary comment, Facebook posts of brands can attract angry or sad reactions from fans. This potentially puts them (and the people who manage their social media) in a danger zone, since it’s not possible to reply to every reaction as you would a comment. So what’s a PR pro’s action when a post is met with a flood of angry or sad emojis? I guess only time will tell, as we figure out this new territory in the coming months.