Facebook Reactions: What You Need To Know

Facebook Reactions: What You Need To Know

As people, we are able to react to our environment with an array of emotions. Why is it then, that Facebook only allows us to Like content in our News Feed? Well Facebook has finally done something about it. This past week, Facebook has released a new feature which has changed the way we can now react to individual posts. Facebook Reactions are additional options offered in place of the traditional Like button and offer a wider range of emotions. By hovering over the like button on your computer (or pressing and holding on mobile), you are presented with 5 additional Reactions including Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry. In a post by Facebook Product Manager, Sammi Krug, he explains the reasoning for the new buttons. He writes.

“We’ve been listening to people and know that there should be more ways to easily and quickly express how something you see in News Feed makes you feel. That’s why today we are launching Reactions, an extension of the Like button, to give you more ways to share your reaction to a Facebook post in a quick and easy way.”

Facebook Reaction Icons

But, with the addition of Reactions comes a plethora of questions regarding how they will affect the ads run on Facebook and how the ads are placed in News Feeds. In order to shed some light on what this means for digital marketers, here are some Q&As regarding Reactions.

How will Reactions affect my ads?

Reactions are exactly the same as the Like button in the sense that each will be treated as a Like when it comes to reporting and analytics. For example, if your ad receives 10 Likes, 10 Angry Reactions, and 10 Love Reactions, your post will still be regarded as having 30 total Likes. With regard to reporting, Reactions will be included as Likes but will not be broken out. Also, in the same way that Like’s cannot be removed from a post, Reactions will also not be removable.

Will negative Reactions affect where/if my ad is placed in someone’s News Feed?

Currently, since Facebook attributes all Reactions as an extension of the Like button, their algorithm sees any Reaction (Love or Anger) as an indication that they wish to see more posts like that. This means that “negative” Reactions (Sad, Angry) will not affect the placement of your ad within someone’s News Feed. In fact, a study by Jonah Berger, author of “Contagious: Why Things Catch On,” found that content that triggered an angry reaction in readers is 34% more likely to end up on the New York Times “Most Shared” page, while posts that make people anxious are 21% more likely to end up on that page. 

How can I take advantage of Reactions?

Great question! Because there are more options available to users who want to engage in a post, it is possible that more users will choose a Reaction rather than taking the time to write a comment. This means that in order to keep and increase engagement like comments, the content of the ad will need to increase in quality. In order to stand out, your content needs to connect with the end-user and make them want to engage, and what better way to figure out what content works best than by looking at the Reactions! By measuring how each ad is interacted with, you can test different content, style, and design in order to create the perfect ad for your target audience.

Facebook Reactions Comparison

Overall, the addition of Reactions to our News Feeds has been quick and painless but also a long-time coming. For years, users have been looking for more ways to express their feelings towards a post aside from the basic Like. Now that Reactions are here, both the user and marketer can take advantage of their power. Users will be able to better show marketers how they feel about specific content and in turn, marketers will begin to create more unique and specific content for them. It will be interesting to see how this interaction evolves in the future and if any more Reactions will be added, but until then, take advantage of more diverse engagement.


Big thanks to Facebook and Hubspot for all of the awesome info!

Hubspot: Reactions & Markers

Facebook: Launch of Reactions

Facebook Business & Reactions

Share this post