Was the ‘like’ you clicked on your ex-boyfriend’s younger sister’s engagement announcement authentic? Nope. Your boss (this is TOTALLY hypothetical) shared a grainy picture of his lunch, was your ‘like’ necessary? Of course not.
You can’t take ‘likes’ or even comments you see on Facebook at face value. Same goes for the new reaction buttons.
A ‘like’ does not translate to, “I like this.” Sometimes a ‘like’ is just an acknowledgement that you saw something. A polite way of saying, “I’ve seen your vacation pictures, we needn’t discuss them upon your return.” For me, a ‘like’ means, “I see this and it resonates with me in some way but it isn’t interesting or important enough for me to share.” Maybe Facebook should make a button for that!
Planit’s social team interprets social media sentiment for clients daily. A comment on a badass tractor picture that reads “Sick” may be filtered as negative by one of our social analysis tools, but we humans know better. Overall, these changes to engagement options mean a new level of analysis will be needed for each Facebook post. Fifty ‘angry’ faces may be appropriate depending on the theme of the content, but what if fan reactions don’t match your goals? How will you combat ‘haha’ clickers who think your new product announcement is a joke? Should your brand’s goal be more ‘love’ than ‘likes’?
While I appreciate Facebook’s intentions to give users the ability to express emotions for situations where hitting ‘like’ feels inappropriate, this only complicates analysis.
Because hitting ‘love’ on your ex-boyfriend’s younger sister’s engagement announcement is a bald-faced lie.