Facebook is expanding the ‘like’ button to make it more expressive. The social media company has revealed that it plans on making the button more expressive for circumstances where ‘liking’ an event would not be appropriate.
Facebook is launching a pilot test for new emoticons to accompany the like button. Through the pilot test, the social network company hopes to determine the viability of a wider range of emotions on posts. The range of emotions set to be introduced include: love, anger, happiness and sadness.
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook said in a recent post, “Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy. A like might not be the best way to express yourself."
Zuckerberg added, "Reactions gives you new ways to express love, awe, humor and sadness. It's not a dislike button, but it does give you the power to easily express sorrow and empathy -- in addition to delight and warmth. You'll be able to express these reactions by long pressing or hovering over the Like button." Only last month, Zuckerberg had hinted at expanding the like button.
In a video accompanying the post, chief product officer Chris Cox said the pilot test would be conducted in Spain and Ireland where it would be available on Android, iOS and desktops.
Cox further said that the six buttons would appear as emoticons and would pop up after long clicking the like button. The company was keen on using the results of the test study to improve the feature before rolling it out to everyone. The post was ‘liked’ by more than 7,500 people in just two hours.
Cox expressly stated that the features would not include a dislike button. He said, "As you can see, it's not a 'dislike' button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly."
While many petitions have called for a dislike button, many have expressed concern that such a button would increase cyber bullying and negativity online.
The new reaction expressions will create a personalized experience for millions of Facebook users around the globe. Through them, they will be able to express their love, anger or even empathy toward their friends and associates, something that was impossible before.