Facebook is toying with the possibility of adding some diversity to its status updates, launching six new emotions for people to choose from. While these options will only be available on a trial basis in Ireland and Spain for now, I can’t help but think that they take “text speak” to a new level.
We’ve all logged on to Facebook at one point or another to be confronted by unpleasant news.
In the last month alone, I’ve seen status updates from friends sharing about a terminally ill grandparent, a crippling battle with depression, an unexpected job redundancy and, most heartbreaking of all, a friend lost her baby boy.
In all of these instances, “liking” the post didn’t seem at all appropriate. But, sometimes, commenting on a post — especially if it’s a colleague or someone you don’t personally know very well — isn’t appropriate either.
Facebook has acknowledged this very modern conundrum by coming up with some new emotions to express when a Facebook contact shares their latest news.
But I have to say, their options have left me scratching my head a little.
In a statement, Facebook announced that six new emotions would be launched for trial, alongside the current “like” button on posts.
And these new choices will be love, yay, wow, haha, sad and angry.
They’re similar to the emojis we’re used to firing off via text message.
But they’re also just a little bit… shallow?
I mean, “wow”? Since when is “wow” an emotion?
It seems like all of our interactions online are being reduced to bite-sized “txt spk” conversations, and this latest upgrade to Facebook’s offering also makes me feel really, really old.
It’s got me thinking: Maybe I’ve aged out of Facebook’s target demographic at the tender age of 33?
The new buttons will be launched as beta “reactions” in the trial markets of Ireland and Spain this week. Facebook has not announced if or when these new buttons will be made available globally.
“We are testing Reactions, an extension of the ‘like’ button, to give you more ways to share your reaction to a Facebook post in a quick and easy way,” they said in a statement.
However, at this time, Facebook is not launching the much-requested “dislike” button.
According to Chris Toss, Facebook product manager, the social network felt a “dislike” button would not “add value” to the user experience.
“[Reactions] is a much broader range of human emotions you can express,” he told the Irish national broadcaster RTE.
“We felt by giving you a bunch of different ways of expressing yourself and saying, ‘This is how I feel about content,’ as opposed to just something that’s positive or something that’s negative.”