Earlier this week Facebook announced that they are beginning beta testing of “Reactions” in both Spain and Ireland.

Reactions are Facebook’s reaction (pun intended) to continued requests by users for a ‘dislike’ button – but with a twist. Reactions are “an extension of the Like button that gives people more ways to share their reaction to a post in a quick and easy way” – according to Facebook.

This new feature will be present on any post that normally would include the Like button. To access reactions you simply hold down (or mouse over on desktop) the Like button to access the six new reactions.

The initial reactions to roll out in addition to “Like” will be “love,” “haha,” “yay,” “wow,” “sad” and “anger.”

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How will this affect my posts and ads?

Facebook hasn’t explicitly said how (or if) different reactions will have a positive or negative effect on your posts and ads other than Reactions will have similar impact on posts/ads that Likes currently do. What they have said is that Reactions will give businesses and publishers additional tools to understand how people are reacting to their content and help them cater more content to specific Reactions.

Page managers (and advertisers) can access the Reactions to their posts inside their Page Insights. We can expect Facebook to use the information and feedback they learn in this initial beta test to improve the feature, and likely add additional weight to how the different Reactions will affect post and ad delivery.

What does this mean for advertisers?

Here’s a list of what Facebook has told us:

  • Metrics that include Likes in ads reports will also include Reactions. However, these won’t be broken out as individual Reactions.
  • Advertisers who want to see a breakdown of Reactions can do so in their Page insights only.
  • Reactions are treated the same as Likes for ads delivery (ex: Loves carry no extra weight than Likes in the auction).
  • In the same way that you can’t remove a Like, you can’t remove a Reaction.

The important thing here is that at this point, the different Reactions will have no positive or negative effect on ad delivery. Meaning if more people “Love” your ad, you won’t necessarily be given priority over a post with equal number of “Likes”. The same in the opposite direction for “Anger”.

If Advertisers want to see the number of different Reactions to their ads, they will not be able to do so within Ads manager – they will need to visit the individual Page Insights. However, the total number of Reactions, Likes included, will be reported as “Likes” in the ad reports – at least for the time being.

What direction can we speculate this will go?

While it’s still VERY (ahem, less than 48 hours) early in the game to make many assumptions about which direction this new feature will head, we can start to speculate!

Different Reactions may eventually have a positive or negative effect on ad delivery and bidding. If people are responding ‘negatively’ (Sad/Anger) you may see your ad delivery drop versus ads that people responding ‘positively’ to (Like/Love/Haha).

Different Reactions will have a polarizing psychological effect on how users react to posts and ads. As people scroll through their News Feed, they will be paying more attention to Reactions than they previously had to Likes. If ads/posts have a large number of polarized Reactions, people will be more likely to click through and see what is creating all the buzz. It has always been a good practice to try to create an emotional response with your ads, but advertisers can use this to their advantage by creating ads/content that create a very polarizing emotional response and then having strong calls to action on the landing pages of their ads.

It remains to be seen what direction that Facebook will take this new feature, but people sure are excited. Users have been asking for a way to portray other emotions other than simply “Liking” and even though it took Facebook a number of years to figure it out – I think they delivered a home run on this new feature.

 

Your turn: What do YOU think??

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