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Facebook’s “Reactions” Launch

Facebook’s like button has been talked about for years. The fact that there wasn’t a dislike button besides the like button was one major complaint.

Today Facebook is releasing “Reactions” which is an extension of the like button. If you hover over the like button, you can now choose from five more animated emojis to express your reaction to someone’s post.

The representations are “love,” “haha,” “wow,” “sad,” and “angry.” The Facebook team enlisted the help of Dacher Keltner, a social psychology professor at UC Berkeley, who was a science consultant for Pixar’s Inside Out. They took away redundancies like sympathy which worked with the sadness emoji, and joy which worked with love.

Geoff Teehan, another design director at Facebook, explained that because Emoji are generally nonverbal, there couldn’t be ambiguity on what they meant in different cultures.

The next major issue for the Facebook team was figuring out how to fit in the new interactions on the interface that originally just had “like, comment, and share.”

At first they thought of presenting all six emoji under every post with a number showing how many people selected each emoji, but that wouldn’t fit. The solution was to show the three most commonly selected reactions, and to see the full reaction-breakdown by clicking through. They chose to hide the emoji beneath the like button, so the symbols all fit. That way, you get a general idea of how people are reacting to a post, and you can scroll through to get a better idea of numbers.

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