Showing a little love goes a little further than before.
In February 2016, the social networking site launched its emoji reaction feature, as an alternative to the iconic “like” button. Users can now choose from “Like”, “Love”, “Sad”, “Angry”, and “Wow” reactions. But for businesses, this means more than just cute face below their posts. Because of the algorithm changes in February 2017, these reactions will now be weighted heavier. Posts that receive reactions will be displayed higher on follower’s newsfeeds than one’s with only a “like”.
After just 1 year, the feature was used more than 300 billion times. Facebook has clearly found its inner sap, because the heart “Love” is the most popular, accounting for more than half of the reactions used. But to use the feature, users have to hold the like button, or hover over it, to reveal and choose the icons.
The extra second to react assumes an investment and interest in the post. The Facebook algorithm then prioritizes these posts over those with only “likes” or no engagement.
As of now, all reactions are weighted the same regardless of the emotion chosen, so “angry” and “love” will equally affect the ranking of the post. But different weights will be coming soon, putting “Love” and “Wow” above the “like” feature, and hiding posts with greater numbers of “Angry” and “Sad” reactions.
The reactions were also recently added to comments. With the same options as a posts, users can show their reactions to individual comments under posts. This will also weigh into the algorithm, and be an additional boost to posts visibility.
For business pages and advertisers, this means carefully tailoring content to the audience, and vesting in information that will receive more positive reactions. With the reaction feature, marketers can also interpret more valuable insights, and change the content based on the emotional responses to posts.
Overall, the goal of businesses? To get their followers to share the “Love”!