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Facebook reveals reaction buttons to add more depth than simply 'Liking' posts

Facebook has revealed how it will be augmenting its 'Like' button, namely by introducing a series of reaction buttons.

Zuckerberg had already said that an expansion of the Like system was in the pipeline, although there was never going to be a 'Dislike' button implemented.

Introducing that would simply lead to a negative atmosphere on the social network, and doubtless would mean a lot of tit-for-tat disliking, and general bullying and trashing of people's posts.

So what we have instead are reactions: happiness, laughter, love, sadness, shock and anger. So now if you're angry at some news that has been posted, or read a sad post from a friend, you can express the appropriate emotion with a click (or touch) instead of simply 'liking' (which often doesn't seem appropriate with, say, sad posts).

Any post will maintain a tally of not just likes, but the numbers of these reactions.

A Facebook spokesperson told the Telegraph: “People come to Facebook to share all kinds of things – whether that's updates that are happy, sad, funny or thought-provoking. And we've heard you'd like more ways to celebrate, commiserate or laugh together.

“That's why 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."

When is this new system being introduced? It’s actually going into live testing tomorrow, although it will only be available to Facebook users in Ireland and Spain initially.

It will be interesting to see what folks make of the system, and whether the 'Anger' button will be semi-abused as the closest thing to 'Dislike'.

Darren Allan
Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.