Facebook’s latest surprise: Reactions for everyone (unless you dislike something)

In video marketing by danny

Mark Zuckerberg’s decided on something else new and exciting for Facebook: the expansion of the Like button to incorporate a further six reactions. Now, while Like is still the standard go-to with a single click, simply hovering over it for a split second will offer Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry.

Zuckerberg explained: “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.”

So, what’s worth considering as marketers?

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There’s no need for Dislike

The change has already been met with all six reactions in real life, as well as one that wasn’t represented (despite protestations): Dislike. While it’s an obvious opposite to the long-established Like, it’s more about the potential motives behind its use, especially in a peer-led environment, when it’s easy to take sides or cause upset. The Angry button is the spiritual successor; it cleverly balances the ability to express a negative emotion with an effective means to deny people the chance to put someone down outright.

Many people may point to the likes of YouTube give the thumbs up/thumbs down option, but when you consider the number of views (and votes) videos get, it’s important to do this to know what kind of quality something it – especially when you think of the number of times you’ve clicked on a video and realised it’s a JPEG of what you want to see and a probable link to a shady-looking website.

It’s a great way to easily get reactions to videos

If you’re trying to gauge a response to an idea, then having more options on Facebook’s always a good thing, especially if it’s got a wide audience. As comments are largely populated by extreme comments (one way or another) or even just the tagging of friends, having a quick and easy way to respond is bound to get more people directly engaging with your video. Certain types of video will naturally do better than others, not least funny or emotion-driven pieces.

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Anger isn’t avoidable

At the other end of the scale, more standard corporate videos could draw more ire – people are much more likely to be angry at an organisation as a whole than an individual.

The new alternative reactions are available on all posts, including groups and brands, and a company will not be able to block marked with anger. Maybe it’s time for everyone to think more about the emotions they want from people – and given the internet’s a fickle place, it might make for a hell of a lot of work.

Will emotion-based targeting be something to expect?

We’ve seen it before with other changes to data capture with Facebook, but: could marketers eventually be given the option to target fans based on relationships with brands and publications? You could do quite a lot with a bunch of angry at Daily Mail sensationalist reports, groups WOWing at shock videos, or those loving, not just liking anything. That last point’s probably the most important – if you love, not like something, could this be used to offer better benefits?