About a month ago, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg hinted that a "dislike" button might be coming to Facebook. Whether it could be used for solidarity ("Stuck in traffic" "Dislike!") or casual online bullying ("Really feeling my look today" "Dislike!"), the idea of a dislike button was a bit stirring, a controversial departure from the like button we've known for many years now.
Turns out, though, Zuckerberg's soft announcement may have just been a head-fake. A couple weeks later, Facebook announced "Reactions," a set of seven emoticons ranging from "like" to "love" to "sad" to "anger." And: there's no "thumbs-down" or anything resembling a "dislike" button. The emojis will be shown in percentages beneath a post online -- 30% loved it, 4% are shocked, and so on.
Well, okay. A dislike button may not have been great for society, humankind, and so on. But something about "Reactions" feels a little watered down. With so many possible ways of responding to posts, the ability to "like" feels less potent than ever. With the reactions emojis, will we come to know them intimately, as if they are familiar friends? WIll it matter to me if someone posts the "wow" emoticon instead of the "love"?
A study by YouGov tracks reactions to Facebook's Reactions. Of the results, one of the most striking is this: 64 percent of users approve of Reactions, but 38 percent still yearn for the dislike button they were promised.
Other interesting findings, as noted by SocialTimes:
The age group that was happiest about Reactions was 30 through 44, at 73 percent.
32 percent of Facebook users believe Reactions will enhance their experience on the social network.
18 percent felt that the new buttons would make them less likely to post about their personal lives.
41 percent post about major happy life events, such as marriages and births, while 24 percent post about difficult life events, such as deaths or loss of jobs.
There was something elegant about the like button. If you didn't have anything nice to say, you didn't say it. Now, you can post about the birth of your child online, and some random cousin from Kalamazoo can visit your page and click an inappropriate emoji -- and sully it.