Facebook has announced that it's finally ready to change a fundamental part of the way people can communicate on its platform, but in a very Facebook-like manner the company is doing it in a way that is sure to let everyone down. The company will release five new "reaction" buttons — love, haha, wow, sad, angry — that will appear in addition to the traditional Facebook "like." However, despite the desire of pretty much everyone on the platform, the company still has no plans to introduce a "dislike" button.
According to Bloomberg, users should be seeing this in their already cluttered feeds starting sometime in the next several weeks. Originally, six "reactions" were tested (see the above photo), but the "yay" button was dropped because, according to a Facebook spokesperson, it was apparently "not universally understood."
The "reactions" are the brainchild of Chris Cox, reports Bloomberg, a man who Facebook’s former chief technology officer Bret Taylor, seemingly cribbing from TRON, calls "the voice for the user."
In a long profile of Cox which focuses on this update, the publication notes that while the change may not seem like a big one it will likely accomplish Facebook's goal of having people spend more and more time on the platform.
This update may seem trivial. All it’s doing is increasing the number of clickable responses. People already comment on posts with emojis or, in some cases, actual words. But the feature will probably make Facebook even more addictive. And it will certainly give Cox’s team a lot more information to throw into the News Feed algorithm, thereby making the content more relevant to users—and, of course, to advertisers.
As to the fact that there is still no "dislike" button — well, Bloomberg says the Facebook team "rejected [it] on the grounds that it would sow too much negativity."
Which, to that negativity thing, yeah, remember that study demonstrating that Facebook makes people sad? Oh, and that report documenting the time Facebook intentionally made its users sad for "science"? Yeah, we'll just leave those here.