Emojis Are The New Likes

What do you do when you want to show someone your compassion or your respect? And what to do when someone posts something on Facebook, regarding the circumstances in Syria, for example? Do you like the post? This is a bit ambiguous. It may not be very appropriate to like a sad post. Facebook has come up with a solution to this.

In September, Facebook announced that they are working on a button, which you can use to express sympathy. People immediately thought that their prayers had been heard and that the ‘dislike’-button was finally coming. There has been mixed reactions to this news. People (and the Facebook team) were afraid that it could be used to express negativity or to put down other users: cyber bullying, basically (Kokalitcheva, 2015).

Last week, Facebook started testing the ‘Reactions’ in Ireland and Spain. This is a new addition to the like-button with many ways to show your feelings. You can do this using a few emojis: “like, love, haha, yay, wow, sad and anger”.

This is what Mark Zuckerberg had to say about this new feature: “For many years, people have asked us to add a “dislike” button. Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy. These are important moments where you need the power to share more than ever, and a Like might not be the best way to express yourself” (Zuckerberg, 2015).

The reactions of Facebook users are mixed. Some really love the new idea, others think it’s useless or they prefer a ‘dislike’-button. Here are some of the positive reactions on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook post where he announces the testing of the ‘Reactions’ feature:

“Brilliant Mark. No one wants to be disliked and displeased on social network so dislike button idea was never going to work. This is best!”

“Thank you for not making the real kind of dislike button”

 “Great idea! I always feel strange to see “likes” on all sad news or updates”

But, of course, there are also people who don’t like the new feature:

“Why we need a dislike button? If you can just simply not press the like button” 

“We want the dislike button, not this..”

So, what do you think? Should Facebook implement the ‘Reactions’?


3 thoughts on “Emojis Are The New Likes

  1. This is very innovatory! I like the possibility of expressing variable feelings. How will these emoticons show up? A post with 7 different emoticon buttons is little bit chaotic perhaps. I agree with the fact that a dislike button probably won’t be used well by everybody. Of course it is fine to give your opinion about a post and a button is a fast way. But people can feel disliked personally.

    By using the emoticons “like, love, haha, yay, wow, sad and anger” there is an ability to show your mood about a post without being very offensive to someone. On the other hand, when everybody puts the ‘anger’ button, it doesn’t seems like very friendly either.. However for me it is better than the dislike button.

  2. II really like this new idea! I do agree, with a dislike button, people may use it for cyberbullying. The people who are being bullied can feel offended when people dislike their post when it is a good news post. But I also agree with the fact that we need something more than a like button. When your friend posts a sad post and you want to let him know you read the post and feel sorry for them, it is inappropriate to click the like button.
    The emoji’s would be the perfect solution, you can let people how you feel about the post with just one simple click.

  3. I agree with the quotation you mentioned: “Why we need a dislike button? If you can just simply not press the like button”. I believe Facebook does not need to introduce a dislike button as clicking Like is binary and unequivocal. You either Like something or you don’t. So, why to introduce a dislike button? I think it would just generate problems. By just being behind a screen and “disliking” someone else posts you may let them down or even risk to offend who shared the post. Imagine you post something and your friends start clicking on the dislike button, wouldn’t you be temped to remove your post? I think this outcome is very probable. It is legitimate to ask Facebook to provide us a tool to use to express ourselves in case we do not like a post. We already have that! We can leave a comment with our opinions (even disappointment, anger etc) and remarks on the topic, right? This way people won’t hide behind a screen judging negatively other user’s content, but they are provided with the chance to start a dialog and to share opinions.

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