The world erupted with joy, or at least “Wow,” as Facebook introduced its slate of emoji responses this week, allowing users to post a wider range of responses to other users’ posts and various types of content besides the ubiquitous “Like” thumbs up. Among other things, the new emojis should boost Facebook’s appeal among millennials, who communicate with each other mostly through stylized cartoons, opaque abbreviations, and clicks and whistles.
Facebook’s new emoji response options now include “Like,” “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad” and “Angry.” The “Like” button remains the same, “Love” is a pulsating heart in a red circle, and the latter four are all animated variations on the classic yellow cartoon emoji face (“Angry” is more red than yellow). Two other responses, “Yay” and “Confused,” were tested but didn’t make the cut.
According to BuzzFeed, Facebook will tally the various responses the same way it counts “Likes” in its News Feed algorithm, so users will be able to see the number of each response generated by a post.
BuzzFeed also reports that the “Love” emoji proved the most popular during the test phase, which raises the question of whether “Like” will fall victim to emoji inflation. When “Love” becomes a possibility, is just saying “Like” going to be considered a sign of indifference or insufficient enthusiasm? Will the little thumbs up icon acquire a sarcastic overtone? Or am I maybe overthinking this?
Anyhoo, there’s one interesting omission, as Facebook still isn’t offering a “Dislike” button. True, “Sad” and “Angry” are on offer, but these don’t necessarily capture the sense of truly – and only – disliking something. For example, Justin Bieber doesn’t make me sad or angry; I just intensely dislike him.
Clearly Facebook has more work to do.