Facebook is updating their Facebook Newsfeed algorithm again, this time to prioritize "reactions" over "likes."
The "reactions" feature was introduced last year — including love, haha, wow, sad, & angry — to help people express their feelings toward a post. The feature turned out to be a popular addition to the Facebook platform as reactions have been used over 300 billion times, with "love" being the most popular.
According to Facebook, a reaction is a stronger indicator of how much important a post is to you, rather than a like. So, next time you open Facebook, posts that have a heavy amount of reactions may be higher in your News Feed. Here's a few reasons why the platform giant decided to make these changes:
- It takes longer for someone to leave a reaction than it does for a like on a post. For mobile, users need to hold down the like button to access the other five reactions, or hover over it on desktop. This process is an "even stronger indicator" that you have more interest and care more about these types of posts.
- As I stated before, reactions were a huge hit after they were introduced. While the "love" reaction was most popular, all 5 reactions are weighed the same when being used for a post. In this case, Facebook won't overload a News Feed based on one emotional response, but a more broad one.
- In the future, advertisers may be able to cash in on these emotions with reaction-based targeting from deeper insights into a user's emotional response. This in turn, has some privacy advocates expressing their concern that the feature could be used to gather data on users.
In conclusion, the update serves as a good reminder that just about any action can influence what you see on your News Feed and would be wise for anyone to take a bit more time when choosing between a like or a reaction.