Facebook introduce a range of ‘Reactions’ to replace the single ‘Like’ button

They’ve been talking about it for a while now and today it finally seems to have happened. As we worked on Facebook, this magically appeared this afternoon when we hovered over the ‘Like’ button.

The ‘Reactions’ give users a chance to express a sentiment other than simply liking a post. It is now possible to choose ‘like’, ”love, ‘haha’, ‘wow’, ‘sad’ or ‘angry’. This feature has been in demand for a long time by Facebookers across the world.

From the veterinary practice Facebook page perspective, it remains to be seen what effect this will have. Facebook’s algorithm is designed to put posts that are interesting in users’ newsfeeds; the level of engagement with the post is a crucial factor in how it determines which posts are interesting, a lack of engagement consigns the post to internet obscurity. A greater array of sentiments to express in one click is bound to increase engagement, in particular we think it will make it easier for people to engage with sad or worrying posts.  In the past we have avoided posts that carry important messages, but make it difficult for people to ‘Like’, this may no longer be necessary. Conversely, could it reduce the number of comments? In our experience the comments are the best opportunity for vets to have meaningful interactions with clients. Another concern is that it might increase the expression of negative sentiment which could make for a less pleasant atmosphere. We are watching and analysing with interest and will report back!