You’re Going to Like (or Love) These Facebook Reactions Facts

Facebook reactions

Facebook reactions (Wikimedia Commons)

Way back in February 2009, back before Pinterest or Instagram were even a thing, Facebook added the ability for users to like a post in the news feed.

Facebook liked it. Users liked it. And then Facebook kind of rested on its laurels.

It wasn’t until seven years later in February 2016, that Facebook expanded upon Likes with Facebook Reactions – the little Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry emojis next to the typical thumps up icon for Like.

About a year and a half later, it’s pretty clear that Facebook Reactions have caught on. Here are a few fun facts from the first year of Facebook Reactions.

  • Facebook Reactions were used over 300 billion times in Year One. That’s 800 million Loves, Sads, and Wows a day.
  • Despite the political ugliness seen in social media of late, the most popular reaction is Love, which accounts for over 50% of all reactions.
  • Living up to their cultures’ emotive reputations, 7 of the 10 countries most in love with Facebook Reactions are in Latin America. The U.S. ranks eighth.
  • Christmas Day, a day when the love flows and when a lot of folks are browsing on mobile, saw the most Facebook Reactions.

Looking back is fun, but looking forward is key for marketers seeking to squeeze more out of Facebook.

Here are three facts about the current and future state of Facebook Reactions.

1. Yes, Facebook Reactions Matter.

Facebook’s algorithms works hard to suppress brand content from users’ news feeds – often to the detriment of small business.

We can prove to Facebook that users want to see our posts by convincing users to like or comment on them. The more a user engages with your posts, the more likely they are to see the next one.

That’s why you see so many multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and “Like this if …” posts these days.

At first, the algorithms gave equal weight to Likes as Facebook Reactions. That’s no longer the case. Just this spring, Facebook announced they were “updating News Feed to weigh reactions a little more than Likes when taking into account how relevant the story is to each person.”

So, update your editorial strategy accordingly. Here are a few simple ideas:

  • Replace Like with Love in “Like this if …” posts.
  • Try Reactions emojis instead of letters in multiple choice prompts.
  • Share a dad joke to try and collect a few Hahas.

2. Facebook Reactions Aren’t Just a News Feed Thing.

First the first year or so, Facebook Reactions were only available on News Feed posts. That’s no longer the case, as Facebook began rolling out the feature to direct messages and to comments this summer.

Facebook Reactions’ impact on the News Feed algorithm means we need to update our social publishing strategy to seek out more Loves and Wows.

Their presence in direct messages and comments gives us the opportunity to update our community management practices. You’re already replying to your fans, right?

Well, now you can go a step farther than a Like with a Love.

3. No, You Won’t See a Dislike Reaction Anytime Soon.

Facebook added Likes on February 9, 2009. It was probably February 10, 2009, when the first guy complained about the lack of a Dislike button.

That guy will have to content himself with the Sad and Angry buttons, because Facebook has no intention of ever adding Dislike.

Facebook’s director of product design Geoff Teehan explained, “Binary ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ doesn’t properly reflect how we react to the vast array of things we encounter in our real lives.”

So, there you have it. Stop complaining… and go earn yourself some Loves.

Have you adjusted your strategy for Facebook Reactions?

About the Author

Matt Simpson

Matt is a freelance writer for The DRIVE blog with expertise in digital marketing, social media, and copywriting. He's active in the #yesphx startup movement and has been recognized by AdWeek, Mashable, and more for digital innovation. Visit Matt's website or follow Matt on Twitter.

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