For many social media moons, there has been hypothesising about the creation of a ‘dislike’ button on Facebook, to broaden the interactions users can have with posts beyond simply ‘liking’. Last week, Zuckerberg’s behemoth of social media announced that they were beginning a trial of 6 different ‘reactions’. Users still have the option to ‘like’, but added to this will be: love, yay, wow, sad, angry. Currently the trial is in operation only in Ireland and Spain, and there are no details on when other groups can expect to try out the new feature, and as yet the effect it will have on web marketing is unclear.
Web marketing masterminds the world over have been pouring over what this means for web marketing and brand content. In theory, the more complex range of responses gives Facebook more data about content interaction, which will be passed to Facebook’s analytics dashboard, accessible to page owners and publishers. This should help social media strategists and web marketing companies to do their job better – information is power – but others have argued that ‘reactions’ may not have the same impact on ad delivery as likes do.
Some of the interesting problems raised by those in web marketing, is the question of what different reactions are ‘worth’. For example, if a user ‘loves’ a post, is this worth more than a ‘like’? If not, then what is the point of the ‘love’ response?
Facebook maintains that any interaction with a post will be viewed as a ‘like’, in that it will be interpreted as the user wanting more content like this – which means the ‘dislike’ button people have been hoping for still isn’t operational – a blow for the trolls of social media!
Facebook’s director of product, Adam Mosseri has provided greater insight behind the motivation of this new tool, describing how “typing on mobile is difficult”. This new feature aims to keep content engagement high amongst mobile device users. It is now quicker and easier for mobile users to respond and to interact with posts, without having to type out their thoughts.
This can only be good news for people, like us, who work in a digital agency – it should allow social media managers to receive more precise data about how people are engaging with content, and to use that to generate better content that is more shareable to the market. Of course, it remains to be seen when this is rolled out across all platforms, and theory is not always the same as the real world, but this seems an exciting step forward for those in web marketing!