Facebook just got emotional

October 16, 2015 12:52 pm Published by

Is Facebook’s new emoji panel really good news?

Last week Facebook got emotional with the rollout of six new emojis entitled ‘Reactions’. Facebook users have called for a ‘dislike’ button ever since the introduction of the pixelated blue thumbed ‘like’ button in 2009. Now they have their answer, but it isn’t exactly what they were expecting.

‘Reactions’, dubbed by Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as ‘a more expressive like button’, is a panel of six emojis that let Facebook users respond to comments and pages with either a Like, Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad or Angry icon.

To the dismay of Internet trolls around the world, the new expressions are largely positive and empathetic. Tactfully, Facebook left out a ‘dislike’ button, which could have transformed the personality of the social network into something more akin to Reddit or Tinder – where users are rated and slated in a cut throat, fleeting manner – good or bad, hot or not.

Companies around the world will also be breathing a sigh of relief. As pointed out in a recent PR Week article, the threat of instant public disenchantment could have had managers reaching for the crisis management documents, forcing brands to be even more cautious in their communication with the public.

Instead, companies can now use the range of new emotions to their benefit. Effective users of Google Analytics will be able to pinpoint more precisely what emotions users are feeling towards their brand, tracking the emojis Facebook users employ to respond to their messages. The ‘Love’ and ‘Anger’ icons in particular, could become powerful tools for online expression and telling indicators of how companies should be communicating with their demographic. Smart companies will be keeping an eye on Facebook’s new emotional display and aspiring to create content that users ‘Love’.

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This post was written by Andrew Will