The newest update from Facebook is causing quite a media frenzy, as we can all now express our emotions regarding status updates on our favorite platform.

After rumors of an enhanced “Like” button started making press a few months ago, yesterday Facebook finally announced the release of Facebook Reactions – a selection of 5 new emojis designed to let people express how they feel in a more nuanced way.

Facebook Reaction Emojis
Facebook Reaction Emojis

To use a reaction, users can hover (or hold down if on mobile) the Like button to see the new emotions, then click or tap on desired reaction to express.

How to trigger Facebook Reaction emojis
How to trigger Facebook Reaction emojis

If you’re interested in seeing a list of reactions for your own posts, you can click each reaction icon to see a list of names of people who express that reaction.

Facebook Reactions detailed
Facebook Reactions detailed

What it means for Pages

Several factors will drive the impact of Facebook Reactions have for brands. First, is how easy it is to use these emojis. Our take is that it takes an extra step and as such, we caution to take a wait and see approach about whether this feature is meaningfully adopted on business pages. If your friend announces a death in the family, you will clearly take the extra step, but on a brand page use of the reactions is not guaranteed. If people do use take more action, this update will promise a major revision in the way content is generated and performance is measured and analyzed. Brands can, and should, develop posts to drive certain reactions.

In terms of performance analysis, Reactions allow business potentially more accurate ways to measure sentiment and optimize content for better results. Although Facebook is currently not assigning weight to each type of reaction, it’s hard not to imagine these reactions won’t factor in the news feed algorithm in the future as Facebook collects more data on user activities.

From a reporting standpoint, Page managers can see a breakdown of each reaction counts by going through the posts in Facebook Insights. This breakdown, however, does not appear in the data export as all reactions are combined into a single “Like” bucket.

What it means for Advertisers

It is important to note that the emojis, including Angry are options for ads. For advertisers, although this inclusion may seem like a risk, but advertisers should view Facebook Reactions as an opportunity instead of a threat. For the time being Facebook is not optimizing ads based on the type of reactions received, unlike it did with relevancy score. Brands can use reactions as secondary metrics to better measure the effectiveness of ad targeting.

For now, our recommendation is to have fun with the new reactions, experiment with them, but there is no need to overreact until we see more sustained traction with this new feature.