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Instant Analysis: Facebook Launches Expanded "Reactions" Buttons

By Evan Niu, CFA - Feb 24, 2016 at 11:30AM

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How do you "Like" that?

What happened?
After months and years of speculation, Facebook (META -0.76%) has now launched an expanded version of its iconic "Like" button. In addition to the standard "Like" action that's always been available, there are now five additional options to choose from: Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry.

Image source: Facebook.

Users can access the new reactions by holding down the "Like" button on the mobile app, or hovering the mouse over the "Like button" on the desktop.

Does it matter?
For years, there's been discussion, both internally and externally, about whether or not Facebook would ever implement a "Dislike" button to counter the "Like" button. However, the social network didn't want to give in to peer pressure since merely adding a "Dislike" button would be analogous to a voting system where users could upvote or downvote content.

That would risk resembling Reddit too closely. Mark Zuckerberg didn't think adding that type of system to Facebook would have a net positive impact on Facebook's global community. But at the same time, Zuckerberg acknowledged that it would be helpful to allow users to express themselves in more ways, since not everything shared on Facebook is happy or likable. The new reactions allow a wider range of empathy, and represent an iterative product improvement.

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