In September, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made some waves when he hinted Facebook was working on a way to expand its famous Like button — not by adding the much-fabled “dislike” option, but by making it way more empathetic, expressing sadness and other emotions. Today, Facebook is taking the wraps off what form the new Like may take. It is rolling out “Reactions,” a new set of six emoji that will sit alongside the original thumbs-up to let users quickly respond with love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness and anger.
Facebook tells us that the pop-up feature will first start out as a test in two markets only, Spain and Ireland, before it decides whether to tweak it and/or how to roll it out further.
(The reason for those two countries? Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s director of product, says it’s because both have largely national user bases without extensive international friend networks, so they work better as closed test groups. Ireland is English speaking, while Spain lets Facebook test out how well the wordless emoji play with non-English users.)
The reactions will work simply enough. On mobile, the emoji will come up when you touch the like button on your screen; on desktop they will come up as you hover the mouse over the like or click on it.