“To like a Facebook post or not to like,” that is the question. Fear not Facebook users, the Facebook God, or rather, Mark Zuckerberg, has answered with the emoji reactions.
Any Facebook user can relate to the moment when you want to show support for a friend’s emotional post but liking it never quite seems like the right thing to do. So here’s where the new reactions come into play. Rather than a dislike button, Facebook has officially confirmed and released a set of 6 emoji reactions – love, haha, yay, wow, sad, and angry. The emojis can be activated via mobile phone or a computer by simply holding down or hovering over the like button.
If you’re wondering why the emojis aren't popping up for you, it’s because the reactions are still in the testing phase and currently are only active in Ireland and Spain. Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, has explained that this phase will allow them to improve and adjust the features of the reactions in hopes of delivering a new and improved way to react to all of the Facebook community.
While this seems like a better option than a dislike button or liking an emotional post, wouldn’t typing out a few words be even better? These new reactions are supposed to enhance how users interact, but are we just limiting ourselves? Words are power, but an emoji is faster.
So what does this mean for businesses and public relations? If someone can now react with a simple emoji, will this completely change the content and structure of how a company promotes and engages with its customers? While there has always been a place for users to leave their comments to discuss, argue and agree on a post, the use of an emoji may change things dramatically. If there are 300 emojis (be it happy or angry, etc.), people can immediately distinguish the general tone and reaction of others which could immediately encourage and influence a user to react the same way.
It will be very interesting to see how this will affect the type of responses and interactions shared between users and businesses alike. There is no set date for when the reactions are slated to hit the United States but I for one will be watching closely…ready to react with my emojis, of course.