Mark Zuckerberg’s decided on something else new and exciting for Facebook. Launched this month, it’s the expansion of the Like button to incorporate a further six reactions. Now, while Like is still the standard go-to with a single click, simply hovering over it for a split second will offer ‘Love’, ‘Haha’, ‘Wow’, ‘Sad’ and ‘Angry’.
Zuckerberg has explained the reason for this change. “Not every moment you want to share is happy. Sometimes you want to share something sad or frustrating. Our community has been asking for a dislike button for years, but not because people want to tell friends they don’t like their posts. People wanted to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions.”
So, what’s worth considering as marketers?
There’s no need for ‘Dislike’
The change has already been met with all six reactions in real life, as well as one that wasn’t represented (despite protestations): Dislike. While it’s an obvious opposite to the long-established Like, it’s more about the potential motives behind its use. Especially in a peer-led environment, when it’s easy to take sides or cause upset.
The ‘Angry’ button is ‘Dislike’s spiritual successor; it cleverly balances the ability to express a negative emotion with an effective means to deny people the chance to put someone down outright.
Many people may point to the likes of YouTube that give the thumbs up/thumbs down option. But when you consider the number of views (and votes) social media videos get, it’s important to do this to know what kind of quality something is… Especially when you think of the number of times you’ve clicked on a video and realised it’s a JPEG of what you want to see and a probable link to a shady-looking website.
It’s a great way to easily get reactions to videos
If you’re trying to gauge a response to an idea, then having more options on Facebook’s always a good thing, especially if it’s got a wide audience. It’s a great opportunity to get reactions to your social media videos… As comments are largely populated by extreme comments (one way or another) or even just the tagging of friends, having a quick and easy way to respond is bound to get more people directly engaging with your video. Certain types of social media video will naturally do better than others, not least funny or emotion-driven pieces.
Anger isn’t avoidable
At the other end of the scale, more standard corporate social media videos could draw more ire. People are much more likely to be angry at an organisation as a whole than an individual.
The new alternative reactions are available on all posts, including groups and brands, and a company will not be able to block you from seeing those ‘anger’ responses. Maybe it’s time for everyone to think more about the emotions they want from people – and given the internet’s a fickle place, it might make for a hell of a lot of work.
Will emotion-based targeting be something to expect?
We’ve seen it before with other changes to data capture with Facebook. But could marketers eventually be given the option to target fans based on relationships with brands and publications? You could do quite a lot with a bunch of people angry at Daily Mail sensationalist reports, groups WOWing at shock videos. Or, those loving, not just liking anything.
That last point’s probably the most important. If you love, not like something, could this be used to offer better benefits?
What do you think to this latest change to Facebook? Do you think it’ll now be easier to get reactions to your social media videos? Or could it be too harmful to brands when the reaction to a post is not the one they wanted? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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