Facebook has introduced several new ways to react to its posts that so far has been limited to the ubiquitous ‘Like’ button. Termed as ‘Facebook Reactions’, users now have a lot more ways to express their feelings in response to say a friend’s post.
However, the newly launched feature can still be considered an extension of the Like button of yore in that those are to be accessed by long-pressing the like button or hovering the mouse pointer over it on a PC.
This will launch five animated emoji’s that stands for ‘love,’ ‘haha,’ ‘wow,’ ‘sad,’ and ‘angry’.
Facebook users have long been demanding for a ‘dislike’ button as they felt the lone ‘Like’ button was just not enough to what they need to say or express themselves. They needed a means to express their reactions to a post quickly and typing a comment was not always the option.
Further, typing a comment is often more time consuming for users who access the social media platform via mobile devices. And mobiles have already emerged as the preferred medium for accessing Facebook, as has been revealed in a Facebook survey that found an overwhelming 90 percent of the monthly or daily users of Facebook do so via mobiles.
The introduction of emoji’s serves the purpose well enough in that it not only allows more ways for one to express oneself, they are also easy and expressive in their own right.
Facebook stated they zeroed in on the five emotions based on extensive research that took into account how most people usually react to a post. Those included one or three-word comments or emoji’s that people tended to use most often.
The one thing that Facebook has been wary about right from the start is to have emoji’s that carried a universal appeal while also being expressive enough. Also, as Julie Zhuo, a product design director at Facebook stated, care was taken to ensure there aren’t too many emoji’s that otherwise would have diluted the user’s feelings.
Zhuo further stated it was never an easy task to sort out the vast number of possible emoji’s to select only a few that would neatly fit into a single row. The team also didn’t want the user to be overwhelmed with a huge number of emoji’s each time they needed to react to a post.
It is for this that Facebook sought the services of Dacher Keltner, a professor of social psychology at UC Berkeley. Keltner proposed around 25 emoji’s to fully capture all the emotions that a user goes through.
Zhou and her team felt they need to have just five emoji’s which represented the feelings users tend to express the most.
Facebook though stated it’s not the end but will keep listening to user’s feedback and continue to update their services to best suits user’s needs.