Facebook goes beyond Likes with new Reactions for anger, sadness, love, and more

Facebook Reactions adds a greater range of emotional content to your response to a friend's post.

facebook thumbs up sign
Credit: Zach Miners

Good news for those who want to react to bad news on Facebook: the “like” is no longer your only option.

Facebook began rolling out Reactions to users worldwide on Wednesday. The new feature will be available on desktop and mobile versions of Facebook and gives you the option to add context-appropriate emotions to friends’ posts.

Reactions doesn’t appear to have changed much since we last saw it in October, when it was just a test feature in Spain and Ireland. The only big difference is that there are five possible reactions, not six. Beyond the simple “like,” Reactions lets you express love, laughter, astonishment, sadness, and anger through emoji. If that amount of emotion is too much, the good old Like button still exists.


Facebook Reactions

How you activate Reactions depends on which version of Facebook you’re using. On the desktop, just hover over Like with a mouse and the reactions appear in a pop-up window. Instead of hovering over the Like button, mobile users long press on Like and the options will appear in a similar manner to the desktop. Select your reaction and you’re done. Reactions will also be available on the mobile web app, Facebook confirmed.

Reactions to a post appear in the same spot as likes do now. If you don’t see Reactions just yet, check back regularly, as these features usually take some time to roll out to everyone.

Why this matters: Facebook users have been asking for an alternative to the Like button for almost as long as the social network has been around. For the most part that request has centered around the creation of a “dislike” button—something the company has resisted. Reactions doesn’t quite fit the bill of a “dislike” option, with the anger reaction being the only thing remotely close. Nevertheless, Reactions is a nice compromise that should satisfy Facebook’s management and its users.

Updated at 7:17 AM Pacific on February 24, 2016 to add confirmation from Facebook regarding the mobile web app.


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