February 24, 2016
Facebook launched its much-anticipated “Reactions” feature Wednesday, adding five new emojis – “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad” and “Angry” – to the pre-existing “Like” option.
In a post explaining the change, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote, “Not every moment you want to share is happy. Sometimes you want to share something sad or frustrating. Our community has been asking for a ‘Dislike’ button for years, but not because people want to tell friends they don’t like their posts. People wanted to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions.”
But the addition may have a wider effect as individuals can now express their thoughts with more than just the thumbs-up symbol. For example, unhappy customers can now post their complaints with an angry face emoji on a business’ Facebook profile, which could draw attention to the post.
Allison Matherly, coordinator of digital engagement for Texas Tech University, coordinates and manages the university’s official social media platforms. She handles the Emergency Communications Center and TechAlert system and develops content for various web presences across campus. She is available to discuss the new emojis and their implications.