How will businesses react to Facebook's latest feelings?

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Expanding from the emotionless ‘Like’ button, Facebook has finally rolled out five new emojis: Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry.

Ignoring the long-awaited pines for the ‘dislike’ button, Facebook have introduced these animated emoticons, after last year’s release of Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out,” which featured multi-hued characters personifying five emotions: joy, anger, fear, disgust and sadness. In last month’s webcast, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that:

“I do think that it’s important to give people more options than just ‘like’ as a quick way to emote and share what they’re feeling on a post, so we’ve been working on this for a while”.

What do reactions mean for business?

Neither business nor individual users will be able to disable the Reactions feature, according to Facebook,  which means that Business could also be on the receiving end for “angry” or “sad” reactions, alongside “likes,” “loves” and “wows,” to posts that they share on the world’s biggest social network. The emojis will be available on Facebook web and mobile, across all News Feed and Pages posts. For mobile text messages, the Unicode standard has long included a range of gestures, including a thumbs-up, thumbs-down, an “OK” sign and a pair of hands clapping.

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Facebook said that data from these reactions will also feed the algorithm that selects stories to display prominently in a user’s News Feed. If someone uses one of the new ‘reactions’, it will initially suggest that the user would like to see more of that post, regardless of the emotion. Sammi Krug, the project manager behind ‘Reactions’ hopes that “Over time we hope to learn how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by News Feed to do a better job of showing everyone the stories they most want to see.”

For Business’ however, Krug also suggests that using the Reactions, could be

“an opportunity for businesses and publishers to better understand how people are responding to their content on Facebook.”