Those posting to Facebook in Spain and Ireland have more smileys, teary-eyes, and laughing faces to express themselves to their virtual friends, but they still can’t “dislike” anything.
Facebook researchers will be testing a new set of expressions and animated emojis to accompany the “like” button beginning Friday. The new feature is called “Reactions.” Testing will be in Ireland and Spain only, with officials saying research will help the company improve emotional options before the feature is released to the entire posting world.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said these new ways of expression are meant to provide a way to show more empathy.
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“If you’re sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events, like the refugee crisis, or if a family member passed away, then it may not feel comfortable to ‘like’ that post,” Zuckerberg explained.
Zuckerberg is aware that many have requested a “dislike” button for years. He even announced a month ago that the company was about to test a “dislike” feature, but Zuckerberg pulled away from the idea. He said a dislike button didn’t fit his overall vision for the company. He didn’t want people to vote posts up or down like they do on other venting sites, Zuckerberg said.
Facebook product manager Chris Cox said the new emotional range began with research into common emotions most people already were expressing on Facebook. Although there isn’t a “dislike” button, there is an “angry” face.
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The second part of developing the new feature is creating a workable design. “We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun,” Cox said.
There is no set date for when the new feature will be available to the rest of Facebook.
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