Facebook Inc. plans to carefully launch in the coming weeks the first major revamp of its signature “like” feature since its introduction seven years ago.
The social media giant’s 1.55 billion users will be able to automatically respond to posts with five emotions beside “like,” including "angry," "sad," "wow," "haha," "yay" and "love." The new options were globally recognizable terms for the most-common comments to Facebook posts.
Facebook Reactions, as the feature is called, has been tested for several months in Spain, the Philippines, Colombia, Japan and a few more countries.
Users access the new options on Facebook’s app by pressing down on the like button until they pop up. It was unclear how the feature is accessed on Facebook’s website. Facebook declined to comment beyond saying that feedback to Reactions has been positive and that the company hopes to broadly release it “soon.”
On Facebook’s news feed, people will now encounter not only a “likes” tally under each post, but also separate counts for “loves,” “hahas” and the rest.
If Reactions catches on, it could provide a massive lift to Facebook’s revenue, which relies on getting users to notice ads by showing them ads based on personal interests. Increased understanding of how people react to posts could be used to better target ads.