Facebook Provides Some Clarity on “Reactions” for Marketers

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After Facebook confirmed that they will be adding “Reactions” emoji to their social media platform there has been a lot of rumors and questions by people.  Many marketers wanted to know just how these ‘reactions’ would influence what is seen in the News Feed and what type of impact it might have on promotional posts on the platform.  Facebook has finally come out with at least a little bit more information about the topic.

Facebook’s Product Manger, Chris Tosswill, wrote about this new feature, “Our goal is to show you the stories that matter most to you in News Feed.  Initially, just as we do when someone likes a post, if someone uses a Reaction, we will infer they want to see more of that type of post.  We will spend time learning from this initial rollout and iterate based on findings in the future.”

So, this means that even if someone uses a ‘Sad’ or ‘Angry’ reaction, it will still result in the user seeing more posts that are similar to the one they reacted to.

The system is rolling out in Ireland and Spain now and will start out with six emoji reactions, which are: Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad and Angry.  This is on top of the existing ‘like’ button that has long been there.  This initial rollout will have these options on all posts including friends, advertisements, posts, pages and more.

Tosswill went on to write about this topic saying, “We see this as an opportunity for businesses and publishers to better understand how people are responding to their content on Facebook.  During this test, Page owners will be able to see Reactions to all of their posts on Page insights.  Reactions will have the same impact on ad delivery as Likes do.  We will spend time learning from this initial test and use that feedback to improve.”

While it is still far too early to know how people will be using these reactions (other than in a very obvious way).  Will people click on ‘Sad’ on things they would like to see less of?  Perhaps, but not necessarily.  If a family pet dies, the proper reaction from friends would be ‘sad’ but they undoubtedly still want to hear about such news in their feed so they can support their friends.

Over time, Facebook will almost certainly make adjustments to how it uses the data when creating each user’s News Feed.  In addition, as marketers gain access to the information about how people are using Reactions on their posts, they will be able to tailor their posts to get the responses they want.

There is no rollout date for Reactions in other markets yet, but it is likely going to be in the next several months.

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