For years, Facebook has only had a few different ways to express interest in a post. You can Like it, you can comment on it, and you can even share it on your own timeline or to someone else’s. We need more, apparently, with people even joking that a deliberate “dislike” button should be added into the mix (it’s always pretty awkward to “like” a post about someone dying, for instance).
Well… we’re not getting a dislike button, but we will be able to express discontent, or any other emotion we have about a particular post, really. The company is testing a new “reactions” feature. You can think of it as a built-in emoji that doesn’t have to be typed into a comment. You can react with a joyful or happy tone, or something more sorrowful — there’s your new dislike button, folks.
Here’s how the big Marky Mark Zuckerberg puts it:
Reactions gives you new ways to express love, awe, humor and sadness. It’s not a dislike button, but it does give you the power to easily express sorrow and empathy — in addition to delight and warmth. You’ll be able to express these reactions by long pressing or hovering over the Like button.
This isn’t groundbreaking stuff here as people have become comfortable with expressing themselves in text and standard emojis, but it’s nice to get another level of digital emotion that can make it quick and easy to see how your friends and family feel about your posts. And dammit, who the hell could like death? It’s being tested in Ireland and Spain to start, and if things go well it shouldn’t be long before the rest of the world gets a shot at it.
UPDATE: Here are the new Reactions.