The simple “like” button has been used to pay acknowledgement to millions of Facebook posts on the internet. As the popularity of emojis increased, people began to feel restricted by a single option for response. Facebook recently decided to turn to the animated faces and released a set of “reactions” to posts, rather than the regular “like.” They offers a wide range of emotional responses to Facebook posts, including “Like”, “Love”, “Haha”, “Wow”, “Sad”, or “Angry”.
The emoticons are an alternative to creating a “dislike” button, which had been requested by many users. The Facebook staff felt that such an option would lead to users constantly tearing each other down, and turn the site into a hateful environment.
“Not every moment you want to share is happy. Sometimes you want to share something sad or frustrating,” Mark Zuckerberg said. “Our community has been asking for a dislike button for years, but not because people want to tell friends they don’t like their posts. People wanted to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions.”
Facebook will also be collecting data from the “Reactions,” so that the average user’s news feed can be modified to show posts they would enjoy. For instance, if someone gives a positive reaction to a post, they’re likely to see more of them.
However, the addition of the emojis created a more complicated internet world, versus simple likes, which judged the post solely based off its popularity. With the new reactions, companies can also look at how people felt about their ad, so they can change upcoming ads to receive a positive reaction.
Emoticons created a new way for people to express themselves, and now they can be expressed in more ways than a simple thumbs up. What a complicated, fast-moving world we live in.