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'Love', 'haha' or 'angry': Facebook expands 'like' feature

AFP , Wednesday 24 Feb 2016
The splash page for the Internet social media giant Facebook February 25, 2013 (Photo: AFP)

Feeling outraged, tickled or touched by something you spotted on Facebook? Now you can say so, after the social media giant added five new reactions to its basic "like" button.

"Like, love, haha, wow, sad or angry" -- the expanded "reactions" feature rolled out globally on Wednesday is designed to let users express a range of emotions.

Facebook had been testing ways to add to the "like" button faced with complaints that it was sometimes inappropriate, especially in cases of tragic events.

"We've been listening to people and know that there should be more ways to easily and quickly express how something you see in News Feed makes you feel," said product manager Sammi Krug in a blog post.

"That's why today we are launching Reactions, an extension of the Like button, to give you more ways to share your reaction to a post in a quick and easy way."

The familiar "like" button with a thumbs-up image will still be there, alongside the new emoticon icons.

"We understand that this is a big change, and want to be thoughtful about rolling this out," Krug said.

"For more than a year we have been conducting global research including focus groups and surveys to determine what types of reactions people would want to use most. We also looked at how people are already commenting on posts and the top stickers and emoticons as signals for the types of reactions people are already using to determine which reactions to offer."

The expanded reactions feature had been tested in several markets and is now rolling out globally, Krug said.

In unveiling plans last year, Facebook noted that it was not considering a "dislike" button despite the idea floated in some reports.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in September that the "dislike" button was not coming "because we don't want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people's posts. That doesn't seem like the kind of community that we want to create."

The new reactions buttons were unveiled last October as a test project for Facebook users in Spain and Ireland.

Zuckerberg said at the time that Facebook had been working on expanded options for some time.

"Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy," Zuckerberg said on his page last year.

"These are important moments where you need the power to share more than ever, and a 'Like' might not be the best way to express yourself."

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