Neural news (we can't decide if it's good or bad yet): It's definitely not the thumbs down icon we were all expecting.
Facebook started testing what they are calling "Reactions," which are essentially emojis that users can use to express emotions beyond just "like."
"Today we are beginning to test Reactions – an extension of the Like button that gives people more ways to share their reaction to a post in a quick and easy way," Product Manager Chris Tosswill announces in a Facebook blog post. "We're excited to start this test, but understand that this is a big change, and one that we want to make sure to get right. So we're starting by offering Reactions to Ireland and Spain, where people will be able to react to any post across Facebook – a post from a friend, advertiser, publisher or business."
So instead of just getting one, giant thumbs down button to use on statuses we certainly do not like (because who wants to press "like" when someone announces they are divorcing a cheating spouse?), Facebook users will get to choose from six different emojis, as well as the like button.
The emojis people can use to react to statues are "love," "haha," "yay," "wow," "sad" and "angry." These emojis also move, almost like a GIF.
"As you can see, it's not a ‘dislike' button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly," Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox wroteunderneath a video that shows off the new feature. "We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun."
Facebook is also using these "Reactions" as a way to pick and choose which stories and post show up on a user's News Feed.
"Initially, just as we do when someone likes a post, if someone uses a Reaction, we will infer they want to see more of that type of post. We will spend time learning from this initial rollout and iterate based on findings in the future," writes Tosswill.
Though it's only in the testing phase and not available to all users yet, Facebook hopes to use this phase to tweak and improve the feature. Hopefully, the worldwide rollout will be on its way soon.