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Facebook Reactions: How It Affects All Of Us


If you love watching Fine Brother’s Entertainment’s ‘React’ series on YouTube and wished you had a chance to be on the segment but unfortunately can’t, well, now you can, in a way, by reacting to Facebook posts.

On 24th February 2016, Facebook made a worldwide launch of Reactions, an extension of the “Like” button. The new Reactions are: ‘love,’ ‘haha,’ ‘wow,’ ‘sad,’ and ‘angry.’ You can pretty much say they resemble the characters from Inside Out.

For many years, users have asked for a Dislike button but it’s not something that Mark Zuckerberg would want to encourage. According to Facebook representatives, a Dislike felt very binary to the Facebook CEO and his team and the actions of liking and disliking are both too simple for the many Facebook contents that are shared every day. They also worry that Dislikes would be used to bully or upset people.

USERS

Now that we have Reactions, as Facebook users we’re able to react in a quick and easy way when we don’t have time to write a comment or share a post. We also have more ways to express our feelings. For instance, we click “Sad” to show our sympathy when someone announces the death of a family member on Facebook, or “Angry” when we read something that we don’t agree with.

BRANDS

The Facebook landscape has definitely changed since the introduction of Reactions, not only for users but definitely for brands as well. It is an excellent opportunity for brands to gain deeper insights and better understanding into how their audiences interact with their content as well as to measure sentiments.

OBSERVATION

A check on Social Bakers, a popular provider of social media analytics tool, reveals that the top three brands in the world on Facebook currently are Coca-Cola (97M Likes), McDonald’s (63M Likes) and Red Bull (45M Likes). Let’s take a look at some of their recent posts and the users’ reactions.

Coca-Cola

This post is taken from Coca-Cola’s US page, the second page with the largest fan base of the brand after Brazil. As you can see from the Reactions breakdown, there’s a total of 4.5k reactions, with 95% of its reactions still go to Likes. Perhaps “Likes” still equals sharing happiness.

McDonald’s

Also taken from the McDonald’s US page, 93% of the reactions to this post gravitate towards the “Like” button, compared to the rest of the new emojis. They’re not lovin’ it, maybe?

BuzzFeed

What about this cute post of a baby who does rock climbing? This article accumulates a total of 7k reactions and what do you know, still the “Likes” are at the top of its game with a figure of 90%. Other reactions that are about 300 each are “Wow” and “Love”. Like wow, there’s only so much love right there, huh?

Mashable

And you’d thought that people would sympathise with Maria Sharapova for failing her drug test but users are giving her 74 “Likes” out of 98 reactions, with only 17 for “Sad”. How sad.

Najib Razak

Malaysians rejoiced when the Reactions feature was released and Najib’s Facebook page is the first out of the many we’ve observed, that the “Angry” emoji overtakes the “Like” button for numerous posts. The amount of people hitting “Angry” stands at 9.9k out of 18k reactions, with “Likes” not falling behind with 7.9k.

As we can see from the above compiled observation of the Facebook pages varying from brands and viral video to athlete and political figure, most users are still clicking “Like” for the posts they read. Why are people not giving more or appropriate reactions? An assumption of what users might say is that, “Ain’t nobody got time for hovering over the “Like” button for even half a second to give more reactions! I’m just gonna click “Like” on this post and scroll to the next one.” Anyway, “Like” did used to carry a universal meaning of love, sadness, shock and anger.

Whether you like or not, Facebook is always looking for new ways to improve their news feed algorithm and Reactions could be one of its eventual factor. However, brands should put aside any worries and embrace Reactions. Even if it’s a negative reaction, it allows you to investigate and rectify the problem before you lose customers. Well, having a reaction is better than having no reaction at all. This way, you get to know your Facebook audience even better and from there, you can produce greater and stronger content for your fans and followers.

How are you handling Facebook Reactions with your brand?
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