MOUNTAIN VIEW— On Wednesday, Facebook made its new “Reactions” available for users worldwide. The tiny emoticons provide an alternative to both the “Like” button that had dominated the site previously and the expression of complex thoughts through words.
In a blog post, product manager Sammi Krug wrote that “reactions are a new way to say what’s on your mind. Instead of only being able to like something, not like something, or use an unlimited number of words in any language to express the nuances of your thoughts and feelings, now you can choose from five other options.”
The new reactions include “love,” “haha,” and “wow,” and are being positioned to replace more nuanced thoughts like “although entertaining, this video represents a problematic portrayal of Asian American culture” or “your father was more than just an inspirational teacher, he was also a caring and responsible world citizen, and he will be missed,” which currently clutter the social networking platform.
But Facebook doesn’t plan to stop there. The company has promised that a future update will allow users to communicate solely via guttural noises.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg released the following statement, comprised only of the new reactions:
Wow. Wow. Love haha, love wow. Angry sad, love haha. Angry sad, love love. Wow love haha sad, angry love wow haha. Wow. Wow.
Reactions to Facebook’s reactions have been mixed. Some users complain that the changes make them feel “angry” or “sad.” In contrast, others “love” the new features and think they are “wow.”
What do you think about the changes to Facebook? Please spill the thoughts from your brain onto Facebook.com and then slowly slide into an abyss of depression and self-loathing that will consume your world and—ironically and deeply self-destructively—return you to Facebook.com for more faux-social interaction, envious fits of irritation, and masochistic rage. Like!