Big news on the social media front today. The previously solo “thumbs up” icon is now joined by five other more expressive symbols. Facebook just expanded it’s symbolic repertoire and added five new icons next to the “like” button. The popular social network is finally giving users more options for reacting to all those Facebook posts – the happy, sad, funny, and frustrated. That means you no longer have to like a post that is the bearer of sad news and can more appropriately express your reaction to what you see on Facebook each day with one of six icons. The “yay” image pictured in the grouping below was tested internationally but Facebook found the symbol confusing and opted to leave it out.Along with the famous light blue thumbs up symbol, the icons now include a read heart (“love”), a laughing face (“haha”), a surprised face (“wow”), a tearing face (“sad”), and an angry face (“angry”). To select one, users hover above or tap the “like” button until a menu of options pop up.
Since Facebook first introduced the “like” button in early 2009, some users have begged for a “dislike” button. I mean, who wants to like a post about a dead family member? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had continually dissed the idea of a “dislike” option over concerns that it would make online bullying easier, something Facebook and other social media companies have always worked hard to combat. These new symbols allow users to “dislike” a post in a more positive and emotional way.
Keep an eye on your Facebook news feed this week because the company will be rolling out the new reactions buttons globally over the next few days.