What the new reaction feature on Facebook means for businesses

facebook reactions

Paula Bailey, Media Coordinator

Have you noticed the new reaction button on Facebook? Chances are you have! If not, this is the set of six emoji’s that sit alongside the original “like” button. Users can quickly respond with love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness and anger. This gives users the ability to respond to posts and ads with different reactions beyond the like button, but isn’t quite as bold as creating a dislike button, which is why these were created. This new set of reactions will appear on mobile and desktop versions.

While it seems like a fun tool to use when scrolling through your news feed, this could actually be harmful to users and businesses. This feature is available to use on ads that businesses have paid for. It is worrisome that users have the ability to negatively impact those businesses whom have paid for these ads.  Some users tend to dislike any ads on Facebook and will react with an angry face even though it might not be towards what the ad is really promoting. Since there is no feedback as to why that reaction was posted for their ad, it is harder for businesses to gauge why that reaction is there. It is more practical when users comment on something they don’t agree with and then someone can respond appropriately and investigate further as to why someone is unhappy.

Although the reactions add a nice touch to other types of posts, it has become something that all businesses will now have to worry about since users have the freedom to post any reaction they want and you cannot remove it. Moving forward Facebook business pages will need to be monitored more carefully. Additionally with this negative reaction, it could cause businesses to not want to advertise on Facebook since they run the risk of having negative reactions linked to their ads with no other type of feedback as to why they had that reaction.

So what’s the good news you ask? Well, you can see who had a negative reaction and would still be able to reach out if you wanted to investigate further and get feedback on why they are unhappy. These new reactions also opens Facebook up to a new level of experimentation. Since users can see how others react to certain posts or ads, there is more information available to us than only likes and impressions. We can use this information to see what posts and ads users respond to and what types of reactions they are having to help with future posts and ads geared toward what people like.

Overall, this new change to Facebook has both pros and cons. We will have to wait and see how this new feature progresses and if this ends up being beneficial or more of a hassle for Facebook users.