Facebook has become the place where billions of us post all the news from our lives. And while a graduation, a new house, a promotion, a new baby, or a wedding are perfectly “like”-able occasions, that option has never felt right for the sad news, the losses, or the disagreeable political posts we all encounter in our feeds. And so, voila: Facebook is giving all users alternate reactions.
Facebook announced the new feature would go into testing back in October, but as of today, it’s going live everywhere. If you don’t have it yet, you should by the end of the week.
The image at the top of this post is an example of the new button in action, from an actual Consumerist staffer’s Facebook feed. Hover over the old familiar “like” icon for a second on the web version of Facebook, and the array of alternate options pops up before you. On mobile, when your app gets the update, holding down for a moment on the “like” button should have the same effect.
For now, Facebook says, any reaction you use will count the same. That is, when it comes to the magic algorithms that decide what actually shows up in your news feed, being “angry” or “sad” will carry the same weight as feeling “love,” “like,” or “wow.”
However, in the future that may change. “Over time we hope to learn how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by News Feed to do a better job of showing everyone the stories they most want to see,” Facebook says in a blog post.