Coming soon: Facebook goes beyond the ‘like’ with empathetic emojis

Finally, Facebook got the memo: we need more “like” options. Sometimes, simply hitting the “like” button just isn’t enough, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has come to our rescue once again with the “reactions” feature that offers six empathetic emojis to help us express our feelings about posts.

In a statement released (where else?) via Facebook video, the company’s chief product officer Chris Cox broke the news that the new feature is, “ not a ‘dislike’ button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly.” Facebook users have been bemoaning the lack of expression available to them, especially when it comes to posts that are shocking or sad.

To solve the problem, Facebook is testing the reactions feature to give a more varied way to react to the stuff that you don’t really “like” — such as your aunt spilling coffee on her shirt, or your neighbor’s dog running away.

The six new emoticons will allow users, in Ireland and Spain at first, to react with love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness and anger. Here are the options:

You’re standard Like (old faithful)






And finally, angry

Facebook is not launching the feature globally, using these markets to test how it performs in a closed group (Ireland doesn’t have as many international friends as other countries) and how well it works with a non-English speaking user group.

If the new like feature works out in the test markets, it will become a permanent addition to your timeline — which means, like it or not, you can’t get rid of it.

The emojis will be a pop-up when you long-press the like button, then the “reaction” menu will appear. The emojis will be available to use for everything in your timeline, from status updates, to reposts, to pictures. You won’t be able to use it in Messenger, yet, but you can always rely on the sticker function if you get in a jam.

Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s director of product, hopes this will give mobile users a faster alternative to stickers on the timeline, suggesting that people are less likely to want to type messages from their handset. He told TechCrunch, “ Typing on mobile is difficult, and this is way easier than finding a sticker or emoji to respond to in the feed.”

Even though there’s no ‘dislike’ button, these emojis are getting us closer to communicating completely without words. So that’s something.


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(Images via Facebook)

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