Facebook rolls out alternative to ‘likes’

The feature is the social network’s response to requests for a dislike button, and features six emojis. Here’s how brand managers can prepare.

The Facebook “like”—a cornerstone of the service—is evolving into a cadre of six emotions.

The social networking giant—which just reported that it has 1.59 billion users worldwide—is rolling out Facebook Reactions. Soon, American users will be able to choose between angry, sad, “wow,” “haha,” “yay” and love emojis to express how they feel about a particular post. You can also still “like” a post, if you’re so inclined.

Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that the platform would offer a feature that enabled users to react to posts outside of liking them in September 2015, but Facebook Reactions isn’t the “dislike” button users originally sought.

The feature has already hit Spain, Ireland, Philippines, Portugal and Columbia; Bloomberg reports that it’s coming to the United States in a matter of weeks. The report also reveals that the Facebook team behind the feature “consulted with outside sociologists about the range of human emotion” that it should use.

“This was a feature that was right in the heart of the way you use Facebook, so it needed to be executed really well in order to not detract and clutter up the experience,” Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox told Bloomberg. “All of the other attempts had failed.”

What does this mean for brand managers?

Expect your sponsored posts to garner angered reactions for having the audacity to pay to enter people’s newsfeeds, but your Facebook marketing approach can take a more nuanced approach. You can play off of these emotions and tap into them.

RELATED: Escalate your social media game at Ragan’s Disney best practices summit.

Will social media managers have to drastically change their approach to sharing content on Facebook? Not necessarily. However, smart brand managers will see it as an opportunity to test and try new things.

Facebook is constantly tweaking its news feed—and content creators should do the same with their approaches to reaching people.

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