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Get ready for Facebook Reactions - Is this the end of the Dislike Button?

Facebook Reactions, a super-charged Like button, with more 'emotion'

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By Ben Robson

Co-founder, GOAT

Facebook tests Reactions, a super-charged iteration of the Like button, but with more ’emotion’

Social media and the nature of online in general is all about reactions. Instantaneous responses to the latest news and views. It’s also a world where things change on a daily, hourly, by the second basis.

Everyone was/is waiting with baited breath, ready for ‘thumbs down’ fever to consume the world – a mixture of nervousness, excitement and potentially a new found power (both positive and negative) that may come with a Facebook ‘Dislike’ button.

Today however (October 8th 2015) it appears Facebook has thrown in a curveball – one which gives users of the platform the ability to be more ‘human’ and subtle in their reactions to the content they engage with.

“Reactions gives you new ways to express love, awe, humour and sadness”

Introducing Facebook ‘Reactions’ – it’s going to be emotional

“Reactions gives you new ways to express love, awe, humour and sadness”. Zuckerberg is clear in stating that, “it’s not a ‘Dislike’ button, but it does give you the power to easily express sorrow and empathy”. In addition, Reactions will “allow users to convey delight and warmth. You’ll be able to express these reactions by long pressing or hovering over the ‘Like’ button”, says Facebook’s founder.

It’s only in beta at the moment

Facebook is starting to test Reactions in Ireland and Spain, saying it will learn from these tests before bringing the experience to everyone.

“Are emoticons too basic to show our true emotion? I would argue they’re a step forward”

So how do you think Reactions will be received by Facebook’s loyal users? Will it help you better express how you’re feeling? Opinion on Facebook itself is mixed, so far – but then that’s what makes opinion so interesting, of course:


Will Facebook’s Reactions functionality spell the end of the Facebook ‘Dislike’ button, before it’s even got off the ground? (initial feeling is, yes). However, things change fast, so it will be interesting to see if this latest tool will be used in tandem with the ‘Dislike’ button, which may or may not ever see the light of day.

Are emoticons too basic to show true emotion?

I would argue they’re a step forward from a simple ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’ (read more about the myriad of issues and potential truths that a ‘Dislike’ button may bring).

However, emoticons themselves are fraught with the potential to be misconstrued, or even seen as inappropriate for a situation. Think about times where you’ve been angry with the service you’ve received from a business. Does a smiley-face emoticon cut it to make you feel better? No. But so often business will use them, to try and appease customers – only to do quite the opposite and anger them.

In my opinion, emoticons, ‘Like’ and ‘Dislike’ buttons alike (that’s a tongue twister), will never truly be able to express how we feel about a particular topic. I suppose, if users really want to show what they feel, they can do so with comments, or via a video response for example – functionality that is more expansive and closer to being able to convey true human feeling.

“Emoticons, ‘Dislike’ buttons and future developments in AI replacing human interaction – I don’t ever see that day coming”

You can check out Facebook Reactions by clicking on the image below. I kind of like it, it’s fun and should be seen as that. But when talk comes of emoticons, ‘Dislike’ buttons and future developments in AI (Artificial Intelligence) replacing or second guessing the true meaning / nature of human interaction (including which content we’d like to see more and less of) – I don’t ever see that day coming.


I’d love to hear what you think of the new Reactions functionality. Do you think the ‘Dislike’ button will be put to bed once and for all in the process? Or will both work together hand in hand at some point in the future?

Let us know what you think in the comments below and keep the conversation going by sharing on social.

Follow us and join the discussion on Twitter – @GoatDigital


Image is a still (screenshot) taken from Facebook Video (available in public domain, cited and linked to from image still above).