It’s official. After years of comments, complaints, and suggestions, Facebook has changed their “Like” button to now include specific emotional responses, including Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry. I am extremely happy about the changes and impressed with how Facebook has rolled them out.
Many people will still be disappointed there is no “dislike” button, but I think what Facebook chose to include is wonderful. Over the next few weeks, and even years, we will see online communication change dramatically as a result of this small update from Facebook. It may seem minimal, but here are three ways Facebook’s new “Like” button will actually change our lives and the ways we interact online.
- More depth in a shallow environment
One of the most important elements of telling a story is not if, but how people respond. Giving the viewer more options with how they interact gives publishers and individuals more information to be able to produce content people want to see.
As a content publisher myself, if I am writing a story about a natural disaster or tragedies in the world and am not generating a “Wow” or “Angry” response from my audience, my writing may be missing the mark. In the same way, if a politician is getting more “Angry” reactions to his posts than “Love” he knows his story and campaign is probably not connecting in the way it should.
Stories are beautiful, evoking emotion from the reader, and humans receive information best in the form of narratives. The new options give us the ability to interact with online content with the emotions we are actually using when encountering stories in real life.
- Online Sales
Advertisers and brands can expect to see a ridiculous amount of data being tested over the next few months on what emotional responses on Facebook lead to the most sales. This will differentiate based on industry and products, but the reactions that are generating the most conversions will play a huge factor in a brand’s online presence.
There is already an insane amount of data and research surrounding the connections between emotions and sales; the challenge will now be learning to apply that to a much more emotionally-responsive Facebook platform. This will have very good applications but we also can expect there to be manipulation and advertisers who simply generate sales content which promotes the most purchase-connected responses.
- Responding to tragedies just got easier
For all of us who have struggled to “Like” a post from our friends who had a loved one pass away, and you have found yourself struggling to show your sympathy for the matter, the added options for response made our connections with tragedies much more personable.
I think this is the best new feature of the update because it gives us the ability to empathize in online communication. Empathy is one of the strongest human emotions and having the ability to come alongside someone who is surprised, sad, or angry in a deeper way is important.
When terrible things happen in the world, or personal tragedies, or even when you go on your honest and emotional rants, people now have the ability to show you how they truly feel about it.
What do you think? Was Facebook’s new decision a smart one? Like, Wow, Love it or not, this update will be a game-changer in online communication. Other platforms will adjust and respond in the next year and the way people and brands interact online will have much more depth.
Way to go Facebook.
P.S. Don’t forget to Like, Love, or Wow this post!
This article was written by our CEO, Seth Silvers. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram @sethsilvers