Just over a month ago, Facebook announced that Reactions - those emoji-like cartoon characters you can use to respond to posts in addition to the basic 'Like' - are being made available within Messenger, giving people the option to respond to individual messages with a quick emoji.
It's an interesting implementation from Facebook, particularly since, according to Facebook's own numbers, Reactions haven't seen widespread adoption as yet. Facebook says Reactions have been used over 300 billion times since their launch over a year ago, but Facebook, reportedly, generates more than 5 billion Likes every day, which means that, on balance, Reactions are only contributing a very small amount of overall user response activity.
But then again, maybe Reactions in comments makes more sense - as we noted in our post about Reactions in Messenger, being able to respond to individual messages may actually serve a more practical, useful purpose than responding to posts, particularly in fast-moving group chats where it can be difficult to delineate who's responding to whom.
In comments, maybe having the capacity to provide more responses will give users another reason to engage - maybe Facebook's research has shown that a large proportion of comment responses are one-word answers, making Reactions a good, potential replacement.
There's been no official announcement on the test from Facebook thus far, so we can only speculate what the reasoning might be. But I'll tell you what would be a good addition for comments - the ability to tag people as a separate option to commenting, as opposed to just filling comment streams with people's names.
Facebook's actually working to eliminate this by filtering out comments that only include another person's name - for some Pages, in order to see these tags now, you have to select 'Top Comments (Unfiltered)' from the presentation drop-down.
Maybe there's another option for Facebook there, a way they could offer a simple tag process which doesn't require users to make a comment with just another person's name. But then again, that would eliminate additional response and engagement opportunities - there may be a solution, but I'm not sure it's an easy fix.
For now, Reactions in comments will have to do. Will it add anything to the process? Maybe, depends on usage, and going on wider Reactions use, you'd think not. But either way, the option looks to be coming, giving you another way to react to each element of a Facebook post.