What Reactions Mean For The Future Of Facebook

 In Blog, Facebook, Social Media

Engagements are becoming more important every day to Facebook advertisers.  Why does this matter?

Facebook is making changes every day to drive more engagement from users between each other, businesses, and advertisements. Everything they do has this goal in mind; they would rather users are taking action than just scrolling through their timelines. Reactions to posts and comments have changed the way engagements happen on Facebook and allowed for more engagement overall. Below is what we know thus far about Facebook introducing reactions.

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Why The Change?

Users have been calling for more ways to express their emotions on Facebook for years. Everyone has always been looking for a thumbs down to combat the famous Facebook thumbs up. Previously, if you didn’t like a post there was no way to show your emotions towards it without commenting and stating them. Likes were being given by people who actually hated or were sad by the content they were interacting with, but had no choice if they didn’t want to scroll right by. Facebook recognized this and began allowing people to “Like”, “Wow”, “Haha”, “Angry”, “Love”, or “Sad” things they wished to engage with. These reactions have been available on posts and ads for around a year, but just recently became available on individual comments. Users no longer need to give a like which typically signifies an endorsement to things they did not have that reaction to. The ability for users to show exactly what they are feeling has achieved Facebook’s goal of increased engagement.

What It Means For Advertisers

Early response from advertisers on the ability to do something beyond like an ad or post has been overwhelmingly positive. It is a great way to see the effectiveness of your ads and the audience you are targeting. For example, if you try a new audience and see an unusual amount of “Sad” or “Angry” reactions, it’s reasonable to believe this audience might not care to see whatever it is you are showing them. Conversely, if your goal is to evoke some sort of emotion from those viewing your ad it is now possible to see if you are succeeding. Facebook also has introduced the option to target “Users who engaged with the page” rather than just “Users who liked”. It is reasonable to assume that some time inthe near future advertisers could have the opportunity to differentiate between different reaction types and target users who take a specific action. This could also open the door to creating lookalike audiences based on these reactions, something that could be very effective for advertisers.

Special Reactions

Beyond these 6 reactions that are available everyday, Facebook often introduces special reactions. For example, the “Thankful” reaction has been available each of the past 2 Mother’s Day weekends. It is represented by a purple flower and can only be used in the that 3 day window. Last Halloween Facebook changed around the reactions, although they kept similar meanings. They made them seasonal (Ghost, Pumpkin, etc.) which further encouraged engagement from users. Facebook will continue to make these short term special reactions because the exclusivity and relevance of them has proven to increase engagement.

The Future

There is little doubt that Facebook will continue to expand the available reactions to users. The recent introduction of reactions on specific comments has only made this more clear. Users, advertisers, and businesses all see the benefit of these reactions and it only encourages more high quality content. In the future it is realistic to expect every reaction you can think of to be available. It should come as no shock if Facebook introduces an emoji keyboard similar to the one used by Apple’s iOS. As Facebook continues to grow and become a hub for everything from news to sports to live events it will be important that users have the opportunity to properly express their emotions. Keep an eye out for more special reactions and new reactions that are sure to be coming.


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