Facebook implemented the global rollout for its long-awaited reaction buttons – an extension of the “Like” button – worldwide on Wednesday, to allow users to express emotions such as sadness, anger and love. Acknowledging that “like” isn’t the right sentiment for every occasion, the social network giant is offering new options to its more than 1.5 billion users around the globe.
So now, instead of just liking a friend’s post, you can now react with a “love,” “haha,” “wow,” “sad,” or “angry” emoji. Reactions are not designed to capture the full range of human emotions; rather, Facebook wants to give people a fast and simple way to express thoughts or feelings in a positive, supportive way.
Facebook conducted research for over a year, tapping focus groups and surveys and poring over short one- to three-word comments, emoji or in virtual stickers to determine the emotions people most commonly want to express, according to the company.
Emoji are increasingly ubiquitous in digital culture. Many Facebook users around the globe routinely use emoji on Facebook and in other social and messaging apps, especially in Asia where the expressive icons are a core part of the daily experience on Line and WeChat.