As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, Facebook replaced their like button with Reactions, a set of 6 emojis that allow users to more flexibility in how they react to posts their friends share.
You’re probably familiar with the icons, so I won’t go into what each of them are. What I do want to touch on is how 2 of the emojis seem to be more complex than they appear on the surface.
I’ve noticed people using the love emoji in one of two ways. Most popular is the idea that it represents something greater than a like. If you post awesome content and someone gives you a love reaction, they’re telling you that they find more value in that post than a traditional like portrays.
The second way I’ve noticed people using this emoji is when a friend posts content that is heartbreaking or disappointing. They give them a love reaction to show them that they care, that they’re thinking of them and empathizing with them.
Which sort of leads us to the second emoji I wanted to mention.
This emoji people use similarly to the second variation of the love emoji: to show solidarity with the poster who shared something disappointing or — well — sad.
The other way is as a de facto dislike button. People have been petitioning Facebook for a dislike button for years. When they released the Reactions, they purposefully left out a dislike button because they wanted to avoid polarizing Facebook users on shared posts. But if you provide an emoji with a negative connotation, users will use it in opposition to positive emojis (like the like button).
On that note, people almost exclusively use the angry emoji when they really, really, really dislike something.
Have you noticed interesting usage of the emojis? Let me know in the comments below.
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