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The hidden purpose of Facebook’s new reactions

Social Media Giant Facebook On Wednesday Rolled Out Its New Buttons To Users Worldwide. The Six Emojis That Compliment To The Like Button Are ‘love’, Haha,' ‘yay,’ ‘wow,’‘sad,’ And ‘angry.’

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Hina Khan | Updated on: 28 Feb 2016, 01:15:18 PM

New Delhi:

Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday rolled out its new buttons to users worldwide. The six emojis that compliment to the like button are ‘love’, haha,” ‘yay,’ ‘wow,’‘sad,’ and ‘angry.’

It also explained the new feature, called Reactions, in a blog post: We’ve been listening to people and know that there should be more ways to easily and quickly express how something you see in News Feed makes you feel. That’s why today we are launching Reactions, an extension of the Like button, to give you more ways to share your reaction to a post in a quick and easy way.”

But this time too, the introduction of these new buttons serves dual purpose for Facebook. Targeting their longevity, Facebook actually collects data by focusing more on what people like. What you get to see on top of your news feed is actually how you react to the posts you see in the news feed.

That way the company uses the data to personalise each user’s feed to his/her liking. Much of the same data goes into the software Facebook uses to decide which ads its users see in their feeds.

The like button on your Facebook has been the key source of that data, by liking something on your feed, you are actually telling Facebook that you have liked it, implicitly conveying you would like to see more of it.

The main reason behind introducing the new emoticons or reactions by Facebook are to extract more nuanced date, to get a clear view of how the user reacts to a particular feed. They can now easily differentiate between posts that users are enjoying, feeling sad, angry about.

And these reactions data could prove to be of immense help to Facebook’s advertising algorithms. Advertisers have always been keen to understand how people are reacting to their ads. These reaction buttons could also amount to be valuable analytics tools.

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First Published : 28 Feb 2016, 01:13:00 PM