Facebook reaction tool to launch "soon"

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 29 January 2016

Facebook’s much-anticipated reactions tool - or 'dislike button' - is due to be released globally, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg telling investors the additional functionality is on its way.

Overnight at its investor presentation, Zuckerberg announced the social media giant’s latest tool will roll out “pretty soon”, but speculation suggests it could be just weeks away.

It gives users new ways to interact than giving the 'thumbs up' to posts on their feed.

“Reactions is going to roll out on every platform,” Zuckerberg says. “We're testing it in a handful of countries to start, just to make sure that we have the UI and interaction simple enough that people could express more of what they wanted without getting in their way. It is adding a little bit of complexity to something that is very simple today, just a one-tap like button.

“I think there are a few tweaks that we needed to make to Reactions since initially testing it, but it's going well and I think we plan to roll it out everywhere pretty soon.”

Facebook gave its first indication that it was going to release such a product in September last year.

At the time, Zuckerberg specifically noted that the tool wouldn’t be a ‘thumbs down’ button as ”we don't want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people's posts”.

Overnight, Zuckerberg says the functionality is designed to give users a greater range of emotion when they’re sharing on Facebook.

“The philosophy behind it is that when you only have a "like" button, if you share a sad piece of content or something that makes you angry, people may not have the tool to react to it and therefore over time the community feels less comfortable sharing that kind of content on Facebook,” Zuckerberg says.

“And we want people to be able to share all of the things that are meaningful to them, not just the things that are happy and that people are going to like when they see it. And we think that that's just really important to the mission of the company and will increase engagement and sharing and openness and all of the things that we care about.”

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