Facebook turns emotional

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Aditya Soni, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Finally, the much-demanded alternatives to Facebook’s ‘Like’ button are set to be launched. Also called ‘Reactions’, it will enable a person to express among a set of five emotions which range from ‘Haha’ to ‘Angry’. The ‘Like’ button will remain as it is and you will have to press it for a longer time to express other emotions. Facebook has already been testing these alternatives in about half a dozen countries including Japan, Spain and Ireland.

Users have long requested a button to show sympathy with tragic news as ‘Liking’ the post may not seem appropriate in such cases. Facebook analyzed hundreds of posts and the most common emojis people were using before selecting the final five. An interesting thing is that these reactions will be available for all posts and a company will not be able to deactivate the ‘Angry’ button.

The rollout is expected to be complete in a few days. The browsers will automatically get the new feature but the mobile applications will have to be updated to have the same. It will be interesting to see how this new feature plays for Facebook and whether it will become a tool for people to better express their emotions or for them to mass-bully some person/entity they are not very fond of.

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