Facebook's new Reactions will soon give users new ways to respond to posts beyond the common "like" symbol, chief product officer Chris Cox told Bloomberg Business
in story on Wednesday. Speculation says users will be able to express love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness and anger.
The new feature also has the potential to give the social network's programs more information to feed into its news feed algorithms to improve content for users and advertisers.
speculated in October that Facebook was planning on a set of six emojis that will join the original "like" button to allow users to quickly respond with symbols that express those six aforementioned feelings.
"Having more reactive set of emoji might sound familiar to you," said TechCrunch writer Ingrid Lunden. "In the wake of reports that Facebook was working on a 'dislike' button in September, our own Josh Constine predicted that Facebook might instead offer a small selection of emoji, similar to the reaction buttons Path offered back in 2012."
"It turned out that Facebook had even filed a patent for how such an emoji response feature might work and look," said Lunden.
Reactions has already been tested in Spain, Ireland, Chile, the Philippines, Portugal and Colombia, reported Bloomberg. Cox traveled to Tokyo earlier this month to push the new feature in Japan.
"You can love something, you can be sad about something, you can laugh out loud at something," said Cox. "We know on phones people don't like to use keyboards, and we also know that the like button does not always let you say what you want."
Cox said Reactions could be rolled out in the United States "in the next few weeks," but declined to give a specific date.
"We roll things out very carefully," said Cox. "And that comes from a lot of lessons learned."
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