After a year of waiting, Facebook has finally launched Reactions to the world. Newsfeeds have already been bombarded with emojis as users are now able to react to different posts. “Like”, “Love”, “Haha”, “Sad” or “Angry” emojis allow us to express how we feel about different posts with more emotional accuracy. These emojis seem to be Facebook’s reaction to the “Dislike” button that many have been asking for since day one.
Prior to the long-awaited advancement, we were limited to either 'liking' peoples' stories, or constructing a comment to express our reaction. For those wanting to react on the go alongside their busy schedules it was less than ideal, as you then face the issue of whether or not you know a person well enough to comment all over their post? Mark Zuckerberg listened to the worldwide feedback and assembled a plan to make a fast, easy, gesture-based response system.
Zuckerberg and his team understandably struggled to decide which emotions to convey; there are so many to choose from! Extensive research on multiple users ruled out the possibility of a “Yay” reaction after observing how many of them confused “Yay” with “Haha” or even “Love”. Eventually they were left with the six emojis that we now see on our reaction panels today.
Digitally replacing the nonverbal cues we use in speech for a set of emojis further supports the bridging between the digital world and reality that is happening all around us. Our experience with Facebook is continually becoming more personal and overall people seem positive with the developments. Communications expert Vyvyan Evans says "This is an obvious step - to be honest, the only surprise I have is that it’s taken them until now to do it."