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A few hours ago Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media giant will be testing, “Reactions – a more expressive Like button” in Ireland and Spain.
There has been much debate about whether a Dislike button would be launched and whether this would over-simplify peoples’ emotional reactions on Facebook. Our digital marketing director, Lee Colbran and inbound marketing manager, Lana Burgess discussed the impact of this in a recent podcast.
While Facebook understands that the Like button isn’t always an appropriate response, for example, to express empathy on friends’ posts, these Reactions will at least give users an alternative to the Like.
Zuck explained that the decision to test the Reactions was to help keep the experience, “simple and respectful”. It seems clear that Facebook is going to some effort to ensure that by not launching a Dislike button, it isn’t encouraging negativity online.
If you’re part of the test, the Reactions can be accessed by hovering over the Like button. The video below shows the Reactions that are currently on offer.
Meet the new Reactions.Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, 8 October 2015
The reaction to this from users seems to be entirely mixed. While some are pleased, others feel that these are no more than emojis and don’t add anything extra with this potential feature. Many people still feel a Dislike button is necessary, however one comment below the video said “I absolutely love that you are not giving into the dislike button”. See below for other comments on the video announcement.
We are considering whether Reactions will be a measurable metric for businesses. If they are rolled out, this might give those with Facebook business pages a much stronger indication of sentiment from their customers.
David Somerville, head of inbound marketing, thinks this means brands need to know exactly what their customers are saying about them:
"Regardless of whether or not this is the final version of ‘sentiment expression buttons’, brands will need to ensure they pay even more attention to what people are saying about them on Facebook and respond accordingly. It will be even more important to maintain an ‘always-on’ policy of monitoring, engaging and satisfying their customers. I think the brands that do this will ultimately see results in terms of not only a shift to more positive engagement on their Facebook page, but also the positive effects this can have on sales, revenue and ultimately their bottom line."
What do you think of the Reactions? Let us know in the comments.
Fresh Egg’s Social Media team can help you create a strategy for your Facebook page. Want to know more? Get in touch.