Our news feeds just got somewhat more emotive recently. In addition to the Like button, Facebook has just integrated five new expression buttons – Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry – allowing for more nuanced feedback to your posts. If you’d like to use it, simply hover over the Like button on desktop or hold down the Like button on your smartphone.
The extension of the ubiquitous Like is an interesting step towards making online social interactions more human. It’s a smart move for Facebook, in the wake of the emoji takeover. However, I wonder if it’s enough. Can these five reactions cover most of the important human emotions and actions we regularly express? I mean, where’s my WTF button? It may be the most common feeling I have when browsing the internet.
Give me Chloe’s WTF face in icon form and I’ll be complete!
There may be another missed opportunity to expand on “comment response buttons”. These new reaction buttons cover original posts fairly well, but when it comes to the exchanges that happen in the comment section, they could be lacking. It’s common knowledge that the comment section is a tornado of emotions caused by compliments and disagreements. Some troll-battling visual tools, such as a middle finger or a white flag, could come in handy.
Switching gears a bit, I wonder how Facebook can be more inclusive in their expressiveness. As most of us are aware, social cues and reactions change from culture to culture. In my hometown of Dominican Republic, much like in many Central and South American countries, hugging is pretty common. We hug to say hello, we hug to say goodbye and we hug many times in between; a reaction representing a hug could have it’s uses for latin americans, as I’m sure there’s other imagery that could aid communication for others.