The long-coveted "dislike" button hasn't arrived, but Facebook's newest enhancement may appease those who've been clamoring for more than the ubiquitous thumbs-up icon. There are five new "reactions" buttons joining the like symbol, TechCrunch reports: love, haha, wow, sad, and angry, all accessible when you hover over the like button. Users will now see a count for the most popular reactions chosen for each post on their news feeds (click on any one of the icons to get the total count for all reactions). In two blog posts announcing Wednesday's rollout, a Facebook product manager explains how to use the different reactions and how the tool will help the site "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." She notes they researched for a year or so to see which reactions people would most use, checking out surveys, comments, and virtual stickers to find the most common emotions.
Those emotions had to resonate with people around the globe: USA Today notes the five reactions were universally understood, and a sixth—a "yay"—was dumped because it wasn't. TechCrunch—which points out Facebook basically copied the emotions concept from the Path sharing site—notes that "standardizing emotions" could prove helpful when communicating across languages. For instance, a user may know enough of a foreign language to read a post but not be able to write a fluent comment in response. These new reactions would therefore allow users to give more nuanced feedback on posts where a generic like doesn't feel right—the sad reaction seems more appropriate in response to a death, for instance. (How will Facebook public shaming change with the new reactions?)