Facebook Reactions nearly ready for prime time: a world beyond “like”

Facebook’s on the cusp of a big transition, one that will give its users new ways to interact with shared content, expressing their feelings about what they’re reading with a greatly expanded emotional vocabulary. Yup: we’re talking about “likes.” The idea of Facebook expanding beyond simple “like” feedback is one that’s been kicking around for the better part of ever, but without a clear vision of just how that might happen; maybe a “dislike” button is the most obvious option, but that just seems destined to invite a flood of negativity – this is the internet we’re talking about, after all. Instead, last fall we finally started hearing about a way this expansion could actually work, enhancing “like” with a slew of new emotional responses – Facebook’s aptly named “Reactions.” They’ve been in testing ever since, and it looks like it’s just about time for Reactions to become available to us all.

A new interview with Facebook’s Chris Cox outlines the path of development that led to Reactions, which set out to augment simple likes with responses categorized as angry, sad, wow, haha, yay, and love. Ultimately, we’re going to get most of those, but “yay” didn’t up making the final cut.

Users will access Reactions similarly to how they currently like posts, but a long-press on the like icon will see it expand to give them these new options.

Curious to give it a spin for yourself? Well, Facebook hasn’t shared a hard launch date just yet, but Cox is clear that the intent is to get things started quite soon, and a launch both in the US and markets around the world should be coming “in the next few weeks.” That said, Facebook may be very deliberate about when and where Reactions initially goes live, keeping a close eye on how users engage with it and implementing any last-minute tweaks as needed.

Source: Bloomberg
Via: The Verge

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!