For years, people have been complaining that a “Like” button doesn’t really serve their needs. When somebody posts something about a personal tragedy, giving their status a thumbs-up doesn’t really feel appropriate. Rumors of various features, including “Hug” and “Dislike” have been circulating for years, as a result. But now it’s official; Facebook is letting you do way more than just Like something.
The new reactions are a truncated emotional spectrum: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry, those last two introduced just in time for the election season. What about “Dislike?” Facebook has rejected that idea as “too binary,” so posting an angry face will just have to do the next time your aunt decides to talk politics. That said, these six may just be the start, as Facebook hasn’t ruled out adding more reactions as people get to know the feature and make suggestions.
As for when you can try it out, the answer is “now.” It’s part of an update rolling out today for Android, iOS, and both the desktop and mobile sites. Of course, this does mean social media will be any less fraught with confusion, annoyance, and mixed signals. If somebody posts an Angry emoticon, are they angry at you, what you posted, or the connotations of what you posted? But at least now the signal will be slightly clearer.