"Wow": Facebook launches "Reactions" worldwide ... just not quite in Hong Kong yet

"Wow": Facebook launches "Reactions" worldwide ... just not quite in Hong Kong yet

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Julie Zhuo, product design director at Facebook, demonstrates the new emoji-like stickers customers will be able to press in addition to the like button.
Photo: AP

In brief:

  • Facebook launched "reactions" globablly on February 24

  • "Reactions" include "Angry", "Sad", "Wow", "Like", "Love" and "Haha"

  • At the time of writing, Hong Kong users can use "reactions" on desktop, but not on mobile yet


Facebook users around the globe can now do more than "like" a post. They can love it, laugh at it or feel angered by it.

The social network rolled out "Reactions" - an extension of the "Like" button - worldwide on Wednesday, to allow users to express sadness, wow, anger, love and laughter.

According to technology blogs in Asia, the "reactions" will not be available in our region immediately. As of its launch date, it will take some weeks before it's globally available.

In a video accompanying a blog post, the five new buttons appear as animated emoticons that pop up when the "Like" button is held down on mobile devices. The buttons appear on desktops when users hover over the "Like" button.

Facebook launched a pilot of "Reactions" - which allowed users to select from seven emotions including "Angry", "Sad", "Wow" and "Like" - in Ireland and Spain in October.

The "Yay" emoticon, which was present in the pilot launch, was not seen in Wednesday's video.

"People wanted to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions," Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page.

 

 

Today is our worldwide launch of Reactions -- the new Like button with more ways to express yourself. Not every moment...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, 24 February 2016

 

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in September the company was thinking of adding a "dislike" button, which spearheaded a debate over whether it would increase cyber bullying and negativity on the site. In October, the company said it would expand its signature "Like" button with various reactions.

The slow test and rollout of the expanded button - which Zuckerberg has said is the company's biggest design change to date - is a marked change from Zuckerberg's famous mantra, "move fast and break things."

The company said it will also use "Reactions" to track user behavior and for ad delivery.

"We will initially use any Reaction similar to a Like to infer that you want to see more of that type of content," Facebook said in a separate blog post.

The feature received mixed reviews from users on social networking sites.

Many complained that they could not see the new emoticons, while some were unhappy that Facebook did not launch a "dislike" button.

Marina Cupo wrote on Facebook: "I would rather have had a DISLIKE button and then attach an emotion instead if I want!"

Users have often responded negatively to similar changes on other sites. Twitter, for example, replaced its star-shaped "favorite" icon with a heart-shaped icon called "like" in November. Users initially scorned the change, but Twitter later said it increased activity on the site.

Technology blogs in Asia have pointed out that it may take weeks for the new function to appear on your devices, as Facebook pushes updates.

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