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Wow! Facebook's New Reactions Are Here, but Still No Dislike Button. Sad!

Wow! Haha! Sad!


Facebook has been testing alternatives to the company’s now-famous “Like” button for a few months, and it’s ready to bring those alternatives to the masses.

The company is rolling out new reactions like “wow,” “sad” and “haha” to U.S. users beginning Wednesday and the rest of the world shortly after, according to Tom Alison, engineering director for News Feed. It started testing these responses in countries like Spain and Ireland last fall, and while the company said at the time that it was open to adding more emotions it looks like it stuck with the same six it started with.

Getting to those six was actually a lengthy process, said Alison. The company has been working on reactions for a year, and crafted the new options based on data about which stickers and user comments were most popular on Facebook.

You’ll quickly notice what’s not included in the new list of reactions: A dislike button. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg initially said Facebook was building one, but it turns out that wasn’t actually the case. (Angry!)

“I think … ‘anger’ and ‘sad’ actually covered a lot of what we saw people trying to convey,” Alison explained.

Why change the “Like” feature at all? Engagement. You may not feel comfortable “Liking” a sad update in your feed, so Facebook wants to give you other options. Alison said it’s “a little early” to tell if engagement increased in countries where Facebook has been testing the new reactions, which probably means it hasn’t. (Facebook would likely broadcast it if engagement were up.)

The new feature will be available on iOS and Android phones beginning Wednesday as part of a free app update.


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