9 Oct 2015

Putting the face in Facebook

8:27 am on 9 October 2015

Want a more nuanced approach than the 'like button'? Facebook says it's bringing in several emoticons. (Thumb fans, don't despair, that's not going anywhere).


Photo: Flicker / Marco Pakoeningrat

The new "reactions" will let users express love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness and anger.

It works by hovering or long-pressing the Like button and selecting the relevant emoji that you want to put in your message.

The status will then count how many likes, loves, angers, etc. you've had.

It comes just three weeks after Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg said the social network was finally working on a "dislike button" after years of calls from users.

Mark Zuckerberg has said a 'dislike' button will be coming to Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg has said a 'dislike' button will be coming to Facebook. Photo: 123RF

But it now looks like this is the alternative he was talking about.

At the time, he said he wanted people to be able to show empathy, but not to put down other people's posts.

The site's chief product officer, Chris Cox, now says the new "expressive like button" is being rolled out in a test run starting in Ireland and Spain.

"As you can see, it's not a 'dislike' button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly."

He says they studied the comments and reactions most commonly expressed across Facebook before coming up with what he calls an "elegant and fun" design around them.

The company says it hopes to roll the feature out to everyone soon.


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