It was only a matter of time before Facebook crafted a new option by which users could voice out their opinions regarding other people’s posts and pictures. There was speculation that the dislike button would soon appear on our homepage but Facebook has recently launched a new update which has since shaken up the social media site quite a bit.
Enter the new Facebook reactions. With a set of emojis ranging from happy faces to angry faces, users could physically leave their stamp on posts with one of these emojis, other than the good old ‘like’ button. Whilst the regular Facebook user might deem the new update as an interesting and cool one to use, the ones who would likely find great use out of it are social media influencers and those who utilise Facebook as a means to grow their brand.
As such, we asked 9 Malaysian social media influencers across a myriad of fields including entertainment, photography and entrepreneurship on their two cents about the effects of Facebook reactions. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Cheryl K, Student/Singer
“I love expressing myself so having more emoticons would definitely help! Not to mention, they are pretty cute too! Just need some time to get used to the new system. I think it is a good idea because it caters the right reaction to a variety of different types of posts/statuses.
I am not entirely sure of how it works yet or what other reactions this new system will get as it has just been newly implemented and everyone is still getting used to it, but I suppose naturally that the generic public would still look for the amount of responses, comments, emoticons and likes that a person gets as one of the ways to determine their ‘popularity’ within the Facebook community. So yes, it is still a useful way.
As a person who uses social media as one of the ways to share my music and reach out to my supporters, I believe that social media engagement is very important because that’s when you get feedback (what others think of your work/news/life/thoughts), generate publicity, and express yourself.”
2. FwuKai Quah, Photographer
“Seriously, I’m still quite lazy and mostly lean towards the classical ‘like’. I rather have a ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ button. Straightforward.”
3. Harmini Asokumar, Entrepreneur
“It hasn’t really impacted me yet however I can see why it could potentially be negative. So far it’s been all good vibes on my end. I think it’s quite unnecessary as it can stir up problems and misunderstandings. That’s why we have emojis to begin with. It’d be better off with all positive emojis, the world needs more of a positive vibe anyways.”
4. Vince Low, Artist
“I think it’s a good idea for my personal page use. I don’t and I can’t explain myself in words well so the new emoticons make it easier for me to express my opinion on posts from others ;p To be honest, I think the ‘like’ button doesn’t quite reflect the reality. More ‘likes’ doesn’t mean more people will buy [a product], and less ‘likes’ doesn’t mean that a work or something is bad.”
5. Arisa Chow, Beauty Blogger
“Honestly I think it’s cute that they finally have these expressions, giving people more options rather than just generally liking a post, or post rude comments to express their dissatisfaction towards certain postings. Hopefully with this function there’ll be lesser unnecessary dramas on the comment boxes and instead people should just give an angry face reaction.
If the person is a public figure, there are bound to be haters surfacing and this is the chance for them to do so with an angry emoji but it will take some time before Malaysians get the hang of using these new expressions as I noticed from my pages, most of them are still used to the usual ‘like’ button.”
6. Jeremy Choy, Photographer
“So far it’s on the positive side for me, users are given more choices to express themselves towards a certain issue, even though it seems silly to put on a digitalised expression on a post, but it does have that little personal touch.
I think it’s a good idea actually, it’s a feature that Facebook is going to add from time to time. They have always listened to their users and come out with what’s best or useful for everyone. it’s a good sign that Facebook are listening to their audience and constantly improving their services for the user.”
7. Victor Tan, Student/Founder Of Humans of Ridesharing
“When Facebook introduced reactions, I was under the impression that the world as it was at undergoing yet another milestone toward a path of inevitable digitalisation—as the will gain many more ways to express itself, it becomes less awkward to express certain things—if someone loses a job, and you click like, does that mean that you sympathise with that person, or does that mean that you are taking part in schadenfreude? Reactions, to my understanding, allow you to express a representation of the entire scale of human emotion, limited as it is by the sheer fact that only six reactions exist.
As a person who runs a social media page, reactions allow me to better gauge what my audience is thinking, they allow me to better target my content, and they allow me to also understand better how to appeal to a target demographic. Based upon the returns upon the results or the investments which I have made in the page, I get a better idea of what my audience is thinking at any moment, and I slowly become better at tailoring content that is capable of capitalising upon that emotion, and to be able to target that content toward a very specific audience, if necessary, simply by the presupposition of the existence of an emotion that many may not have even considered taking to Facebook if not for existence of the reaction buttons.”
8. Lim Zhi Lin, Artist
“It’s neither a good or bad idea, but it does help people express themselves better when they want to let their friends that they acknowledge their post. Example, when a person has expressed a loss, their peers can use the sad emoji to express their condolences instead of sending a ‘like’ which seems inappropriate for the given situation.
Social media engagement is important for businesses of all sizes since social media platforms help open their doors to a bigger audience. Like for us artists, I think it’s a pretty good way to share our artworks out there. It’s also convenient for people who are interested in our work to follow and stay updated with our latest works.”
9. Alvin Sinclair, Radio Presenter
“Well it has impacted me positively, I get to use the exact reactions my friends and followers feel about my update. I think the Facebook reactions are great, it lets us express our exact feeling via the emoticons. But one thing I do have to highlight is, our netizens sometimes tend to abuse this. Let’s use it wisely and not hurt anyone’s feelings on Facebook.
The ‘like’ reaction used to be the only way to measure how popular or well-liked the post or the person is, but now we have all the other reactions, we should be able to tell how someone dislikes the post too. It’s a fair thing if you ask me, a mix of opinions.”