While some nonprofits on Facebook have been excited by the new Facebook "Dislike" button, we’ve got some news – it’s not coming to fruition. Bloomberg reported that the Dislike button would “inject negativity into a social network fueled by baby photos and Corgis waddling at the beach.” While this news may be a relief for some nonprofits, it could be frustrating for others who were planning their campaigns around constituents’ Disliking things like Congress’ inaction on issues like gun violence prevention bills or climate change legislation.
Instead of the Dislike button, Facebook is rolling out 6 new emojis, called Reactions, that can be used to express feelings, including feelings of anger. The Reactions include “Love,” “Haha,” “Yay,” “Wow,” “Sad,” and “Angry.” Your constituents will definitely have more buttons to react to your content, but not in the form of a Dislike button. These Reactions are a way for people to interact with you in a wider range than just a Like button, and it gives them the ability to react quickly.
“Everyone feels like they can just push the Like button, and that’s an important way to sympathize or empathize with someone,” said Mark Zuckerberg during a Q&A last December. “Giving people the power to do that in more ways with more emotions would be powerful, but we need to figure out the right way to do it so it ends up being a force for good, not a force for bad.”
These new Reaction buttons mean that people will be able to react to any post across Facebook – a post from your nonprofit, a friend, advertiser, publisher, or business. This shouldn’t be too worrisome for your nonprofit, as people could already write in their feelings – and anger doesn’t necessarily denote that they’re disliking something about your charity. (Plus, the anger button doesn’t really look too enraged…) You probably get more Likes than comments on the average post, just because it’s an easy way to say "thumbs up." People want an easy and quick way to react to content and news and these Reactions are doing exactly that by creating a little more depth than just a Like.
This is a great opportunity for you to learn, at the click of a button, how your audiences are reacting to your content. What’s just a little frustrating is that the buttons don’t give as wide of a range of emotions as they could. Love, Like, Haha, and Yay are all pretty similar. Wow and Sad look a little neutral, and even Angry is a little cute.
Will these Reactions change how you’ll configure your content at all? If so, we want to hear about it.