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Why you should give two toots about Facebook’s new “Reaction” feature

Facebook seems to be on a “new feature” binge lately. The latest feature however, is actually useful for entrepreneurs and marketing gurus.

facebook reactions


Millions of people use Facebook every day

These same millions of people have been championing the need for a “dislike” button for as long as Facebook has had a “like” button, it seems. In September, Mark Zuckerberg announced he was working on an alternative to the “like” button. Now, we seem to have it. Facebook is introducing “Reactions;” a set of six emojis that will be placed alongside the “like” button. This will give users the ability to respond with love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness, or anger.

Why introduce emojis when we already have stickers, smileys, and other characters we use to express the same emotions? GlobalWebIndex (GWI) has one theory and I agree. Introducing “reactions” will allow passive users to become more active on the network, without actually posting or commenting. According to GWI, browsing without posting is now more popular that uploading photos, or updating statuses.

For entrepreneurs, this means that you will be able to engage passive users

This could lead to more comments, more traffic, and more potential customers. As GWI notes, more users are accessing Facebook through mobile devices. These new reaction icons, will allow users to interact with content quickly, avoiding the hassle of typing out a response.

Also, marketing gurus will gain the additional benefit of finding out how users emotionally respond to content on the network. This will not only help entrepreneurs post more engaging content, but also help Facebook to better target their own marketing efforts as they too will be able to see how users react emotionally to content.

Will “Reactions” catch on?

This is of course assuming users actually click on the new reaction icons. Most users are familiar and comfortable with Facebook’s stickers. This is an easy way to comment on-the-go without the need to actually type a response. In fact, many of the stickers contain words like “LOL” or “OMG,” effectively making them a one-click solution.

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I’m unsure how quickly the reaction icons will catch on, but I imagine it will be fairly fast. After all, the reaction icons will eliminate one more click (as opposed to clicking the sticker icon, then tapping the one you want) and faster access is always better.


Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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