Facebook tests reactions and Dislike button (!) on messages
Facebook finally has a Dislike button, but its not where youd expect.
How do you reply to a specific message in a rapid-fire chat thread? Facebook wants you to attach emojis to your friends messages the same route you do with News Feed posts.
TechCrunch reader Hoan Do sent us a tip that Facebook Messenger is demonstrating some users a Reactions option. When you hover over messages friends have sent in a chat thread, you can tap the emoji button to picking from attaching a little thumbs-up Like, thumbs-down Dislike, or a heart-eyes, lol, wow, sad, or angry emoji. Everyone in the thread will then see that Reaction counted below the specific message you attached it to, and you can tap to see a full list of who left which Reaction.
Facebook confirmed this new feature to TechCrunch, saying Were always testing ways to build Messenger more fun and engage. This is a small test where we enable people to share an emoji that best represents their feelings on a message. That means not everyone has access now, but if people enjoy it, Messenger Reactions could roll out to all users.
Notably, the Messenger reaction list distinguished from the News Feed one because of the addition of much-requested and always-denied Dislike button. Though its known as Facebooks most asked for feature, the company didnt want to inject too much negativity into the feed so it never built one. Instead, it constructed Reactions so people could share more nuanced feelings rapidly, but left disliking for the comments.
Facebook considers it as more a no button, the company tells me. It says people often use Messenger for planning and coordination, and its experimenting to see if a reactions are helpful for quick logistics and voting. Thats why its offering a Yes/ No alternative, even though people will naturally see it as a Dislike button too.
Messenger Reactions are similar to iMessages recently-added Tapback emoji, a format pioneered in the west by Slacks Emoji Reactions. There theyve proven especially useful in fast-flying group chats, where more messages may have come in before you can respond to one youre interested in.
Imagine this thread 😛 TAGEND
Boss Everyone OK with ordering pizza for lunch?
Coworker 1 Does anyone want to go to the food trucks instead?
Coworker 2 Im going to go for sushi if anyone would rather do that.
Its wholly ambiguous which message youre responding to, and its riling to have to say Yes I want to go to the food trucks instead. Before Slack finally added threaded dialogues, it addressed this problem with Emoji Reactions. A lightweight social chat app like Messenger might not require threaded dialogues, though its certainly a prospect, but porting over the News Feed Reactions constructs perfect sense.
Facebook launched Reactions almost exactly a year ago, and they proven popular, with over 300 billion sent in so far. Love is the most frequently used, inducing up more than half of all Reactions.Mexico, Chile, and Suriname find the most Reactions per user. And now, Facebook is weighting Reactions a bit more heavily than standard Likes when its ascertaining how interesting a post is and how prominently to demonstrate it in the News Feed.
Given the success of Emoji Reactions in Slack, the feature could make a strong addition to Work Chat, Facebooks messaging system for its enterprise cooperation suite Workplace. It could also prove useful for interacting with chatbots, which Facebook also improved the coming week with persistent menu for when you dont know what command to type.
The more convenient Facebook can induce Messenger, the very best it can compete with Snapchat, Line, and Googles fragmented mess of messaging apps. Offering the easiest way to respond could keep users locked into the Facebook ecosystem, even if their social media sharing strays to other apps.