Ever encountered a post on Facebook about something sad or infuriating and wanted to react to it but decided “Like” was inappropriate? You’re not alone. Users of the social network have been asking for alternatives to the ubiquitous Like button for years, and Facebook has listened. The company is running a pilot test of something called Reactions, which it describes as a “more expressive Like button”.
The new feature is being rolled out to Facebook users in Ireland and Spain first. Users’ feedback will be used to make any final tweaks or changes to the feature before the new feature is rolled out to the rest of the service’s more than 1.5 billion users around the world.
Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, made the announcement on his (you guessed it) Facebook page on Thursday.
“Today we’re launching a pilot test of Reactions — a more expressive Like button,” Cox says in the post that, at time of writing, has had over 700,000 views and been shared more than 5,000 times. “As you can see, it’s not a “dislike” button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly.
“We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun. Starting today Ireland and Spain can start loving, wow-ing, or expressing sympathy to posts on Facebook by hovering or long-pressing the Like button wherever they see it. We’ll use the feedback from this to improve the feature and hope to roll it out to everyone soon.”