Saturday 18 November 2017

Facebook Irish users are first to test new happiness, love and anger buttons

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook will finally let its users express other emotions that "Like" by launching a series of alternative "Reaction" buttons, with Irish and Spanish subscribers the first to test the new system.

According to a report from Engadget, from tomorrow (Friday) Facebook will offer the new services to users here and in Spain with options to express love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness and anger by launching a trial of the service in the coming days.

It comes several weeks after Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the social network was finally working on an alternative to the Like button, a move many interpreted as meaning it would introduce a "dislike" button.

Based on the report, it appears that hovering over the like button brings up the seven round icons, which can then be selected. It is unclear exactly how they will be displayed when a user selects them. A post that has several of each reaction button that displays counts for each could be messy, for example.

Here's how it will look - Source: Engadget
Here's how it will look - Source: Engadget

The approach appears somewhat similar to that used by media site BuzzFeed, which lets its users react with stickers such as "LOL" or "WTF" at the end of articles.

Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook is working on an alternative to the Like button in September, after years of users calling for "dislike".

When asked about the possibility of a dislike button, he confirmed that new options were coming, but suggested it would not be "dislike". Of the new options, the red anger face appears closest to "dislike".

"We're working on it and are very close to shipping a test of it," he said.

"We didn't want to just build a dislike button because we don't want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people's posts. That doesn't seem like the kind of community we want to create."

Zuckerberg has previously talked about the idea of a "hug" button.

Facebook did not comment on the report.

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