You know that Facebook "dislike button" you're so excited about? It may not end up being a dislike button at all. As TechCrunch reports, Facebook is actually testing out what it calls "Reactions": six emoji that will join the iconic "Like" thumbs-up button underneath a person's post. The options: "love" (a heart), "haha," "yay," "wow," "sad," and "angry" (classic emoji faces displaying the appropriate emotion, such as a frowny face with a tear for "sad"). Back when he first announced a "dislike button," or something like it, would be tested, Mark Zuckerberg noted that what people really want is a way to "express empathy" on the site, since not every post (for example: a post about someone's dog dying) is one you want to "like," exactly. "As you can see, it’s not a 'dislike' button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly," writes a Facebook exec.
The test is currently being run in just Spain and Ireland, and from there Facebook says it will either make changes or roll it out to more users. The "reactions" options appear on all posts (from friends, "pages" you've liked/followed, and advertisers) on both mobile and desktop versions of Facebook, but there are currently no plans to use them in Facebook Messenger or other platforms Facebook owns (like Instagram). A Facebook director explains to TechCrunch that there was a reason beyond the simple call for a "dislike button" that led to this test: the increasing use of Facebook on mobile devices. "Typing on mobile is difficult, and this is way easier than finding a sticker or emoji to respond to in the feed," he explains. And, of course, there's the fact that this type of data will be a useful tool for advertisers (as another Facebook exec points out in a blog post) and, as such, help Facebook to sell more ads.