According to a recent study, Facebook Reactions have very low engagement. As reported by quintly, who looked at approximately 100,000 interactions on the social media platform in April, Facebook’s long held engagement points — likes, shares, and comments — made up 97% of the total user’s interactions with content.
For any marketers, knowing how content is perceived — not just liked — is highly beneficial. The ideal goal of Facebook Reactions would be able to measure the emotional response of content, and thus be able to improve their future content. It isn’t important to just post content to get a ‘share,’ a ‘like,’ or ‘comment;’ The goal is to get a ‘reaction.”
“Among the new options “Love” is predominantly used, even though users knew positive reactions already since the launch of Facebook through the Like button,” says Julian Kottke, a writer with quintly. “From a marketer’s point of view, the question to be answered at this stage is if Reactions will establish in the short run or if the content posted needs to change to receive a higher amount of reactions. Without a doubt, the information that could be gathered could be a game-changer for marketing.”
The study found makeup of the interactions on Facebook follows: 76.4% were ‘Likes,’ 14% were ‘shares,’ 7.2% were ‘comments,’ and the last 2.4% was ‘other.’
“Being globally available since the end of February, users still cannot seem to get used to clicking options other than the like button,” says Kottke. The ‘Love’ emoji appears to be the dominant reaction among the suite of reactions. It accounts for 50.8% percent of all the Reactions while ‘angry’ gets 19.1%, ‘sad’ gets 10.4%, ‘surprised’ gets 10.1%, and ‘happy’ gets 9.5%.
The new additions to Facebook’s UI can be attributed to Chris Cox, the company’s Chief Product Officer. When he joined the team in 2005, Cox was Facebook’s approximately 30th hire when the company was located on Palo Alto’s University Avenue. Over the years, his influence at Facebook is large and widespread.
In the beginning of 2015, he was tasked with a major project: doing something about the “like” button. The team had a problem. The engagement point didn’t account for a wide range of emotional responses to a piece of content. It needs account for all types of sentiments — everything from pictures of a new born baby to natural disaster responses.
In a story with Bloomberg published in late January, Cox explained Facebook’s goal for the new point of engagement was to create “a universal vocabulary that lets people express emotion as they scroll through their feed. In a sense, Reactions is an adaptation of digital culture in Asia, where messaging apps such as Line and WeChat have already established a complex language of emojis and even more elaborate “stickers.”
While the news that Facebook’s Reactions are not great, it isn’t a death blow to Cox’s attempt in creating an response that allows for more empathy. Like with many of the company’s past releases, it takes some time to figure out what users enjoy using.
If you are interested in learning more about the state of Facebook’s Reactions, check out quintly’s full report.