Wednesday, February 24, 2016
After logging in this morning to check your Facebook news feed, you may have noticed something different about all the posts. Today, the social media giant rolled out some major changes to the "like" button system, allowing all users the option to choose from five other responses — branded as Facebook Reactions — that go beyond the site's ubiquitous "thumbs up" icon.
In a post about the rollout, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg explains that these options are the company's response to the long-requested "dislike" button that would allow users to appropriately react to the not-so-positive news inundating their feeds.
"Liking" a post is still the default option. To choose one of the new "Reaction" icons — a heart and smiley emojis shown laughing, surprised, sad and angry — simply hover over (on desktop; for mobile do a long press) the "like" button to select from a pop-up menu.
Now that users can do more than simply hit that "like" button to mindlessly react to a post, will people actually take the time to click and select the appropriate emoji? Moreover, will media outlets (especially considering it's election season...) be victims of angry-face spamming? We shall see.
In the meantime, The Verge published this snarky "how to" guide on using the new Facebook Reactions. Also, Mashable has a helpful overview of how to find the new feature if it's not yet showing up on your feed.