Facebook users around the globe can now do more than “like” a post. They can love it, laugh at it or feel angered by it.
The social network rolled out “Reactions” – an extension of the “Like” button – worldwide on Wednesday, to allow users to express sadness, wow, anger, love and laughter.
In a video accompanying a blog post, the five new buttons appear as animated emoticons that pop up when the “Like” button is held down on mobile devices. The buttons appear on desktops when users hover over the “Like” button.
Facebook launched a pilot of “Reactions” – which allowed users to select from seven emotions including “Angry”, “Sad”, “Wow” and “Like” – in Ireland and Spain in October.
The “Yay” emoticon, which was present in the pilot launch, was not seen in Wednesday’s video.
“People wanted to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page.
Introducing ReactionsToday is our worldwide launch of Reactions — the new Like button with more ways to express yourself. Not every moment you want to share is happy. Sometimes you want to share something sad or frustrating. 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. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the right way to do this with our team. One of my goals was to make it as simple as pressing and holding the Like button. The result is Reactions, which allow you to express love, laughter, surprise, sadness or anger. Love is the most popular reaction so far, which feels about right to me!
Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, 24 February 2016
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in September the company was thinking of adding a “dislike” button, which spearheaded a debate over whether it would increase cyber bullying and negativity on the site. In October, the company said it would expand its signature “Like” button with various reactions.
The slow test and rollout of the expanded button – which Zuckerberg has said is the company’s biggest design change to date – is a marked change from Zuckerberg’s famous mantra, “move fast and break things.”