Facebook can be an emotional place. A friend might post about giving birth to her first child, being stressed about her job or that jerk that stole her phone at the bar last night. Sometimes "liking" those posts doesn't cut it.
After Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased the company's plans last month, on Thursday Facebook unveiled "Reactions," a set of emojis to convey feelings such as love, sad and angry. The company will test these new buttons, which augment the like button, in Ireland and Spain first before rolling them out globally.
Facebook conducted research on people's comments and organized focus groups to see what types of reactions people would want to use in addition to the like button. After determining that core set of reactions, the company opted to use emojis to represent these reactions "because we feel they convey the spirit or the meaning of the reactions at a glance and facial expressions are universal," said Facebook Product Manager Chris Tosswill.
The new reactions buttons will work the same way as the like button. To access them, a person would need to hold down on the like button, and then move their finger or mouse over the reaction they want to use to respond to someone's post. Counts for each reaction type will be shown towards the bottom of a post, next to where the like count has long appeared.