Facebook Reactions: It’s a love, hate relationship with our seasoned team

Facebook has released the emoji-inspired “Reactions” to the rest of the world. The feature isn’t so much a new tool as it is an extension of an existing one; by hovering over the “like” button, users can now access five additional animated emojis to quickly and easily respond to Facebook posts. Each emotive icon is named for the reaction it’s intended to convey. Although “Like” will remain the primary response button, Facebook users can now respond to stories shared in their News Feed with “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad,” and “Angry.”

TWEET THIS: The @MerlotMarketing team shares insight about the
release of #FacebookReactions: http://bit.ly/1RQRX0a

We asked a few members of our team to share their thoughts about this new feature. Read insights from our marketing team below:

Lauren: “Expressions offer brands a way to more accurately gauge how their messages resonate within their social media community, and social marketers will be able to tailor campaigns to individual emotional responses.

The part I find most interesting is that Facebook will soon be testing reactions in News Feed’s algorithm, and Facebook’s product manager says that over time, Facebook is going to be learning how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by News Feed to do a better job of showing everyone stories they want to see most.”

Eli: “Although I am not a huge fan of how the reactions appear on my timeline, I agree with the idea and feel that Facebook has paved the way for bigger and better things, like more valuable insights for businesses.”

Danielle: “I’ve already witnessed how Facebook reactions are changing the way folks interact with their friends, brands, news and other Facebook updates. For example, in the past, if a post made a Facebook user feel passionate about a particular subject, they only had the option to “like” or comment on the post. If a politically-charged post riled up their feelings, or they saw that a friend’s pet had passed away, they wouldn’t “like” that post—they would naturally comment with their opinions or condolences, respectively.

Now, Facebook is giving more options to (still rather passively) react to a particular post, and we may witness the amount of comments decrease. A sister’s post on her recent engagement might receive 30 “loves” instead of comments saying congratulations, and the upcoming election coverage is likely to generate lots of “anger” reactions, rather than people expressing their opinions via comment, which generates dialogue. I am interested to see how the reactions change Facebook users’ commenting habits in the future!”

Chad: “Reactions are an elegant solution to a problem Facebook has struggled with for a long time: What should you do when you don’t really “like” a post, but you also don’t want to invest time in a more complete response? Of course, this approach opens the door to a few naysayers who feel like these options are still too limiting. But when you’re talking about reducing the scope of human interaction to a few preprogrammed responses, it might be more fulfilling to go ahead and share those broader, more nuanced thoughts through direct communication.”

Elyssa: “Just about everyone in my Facebook feed has received a love reaction from me. #LoveReactions”

Whitney: “I fear that we will be reduced to using emojis as acceptable responses to hard-hitting situations instead of face-to-face communication and genuine interaction. As far as how I think it will influence marketing from a brand perspective, I think this will provide great insight and lead to the creation of more valuable content that enhances the user experience.”

Luis:

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Brenda: “When I first read that Facebook would be rolling this out, I thought I would use the feature more.  Since it was introduced, I haven’t felt the need to use anything other than “like.”  I’m interested to see what post will garner such an emotional response from me as “love,” “sad” and “angry.” It will have to be pretty compelling.”

Tell us, what do you think of the new Facebook Reactions?

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