After piloting a limited test in Spain & Ireland in October of 2015, Facebook Reactions have officially been introduced to desktop users worldwide.
Facebook users have been pining for a “Dislike” button to counter the social network’s default engagement metric for years—which (probably, appropriately) has consistently been met with rebuke by Zuckerberg & Co, as the company felt it would promote bullying across the property. However, back in 2014, Zuck admitted he saw a need for a default response beyond just the “Like”; last year, he confirmed that we would see these “emoticons” come to Facebook within due time.
Zuckerberg made Facebook Reactions official for a worldwide audience today with this video & status update (note: Facebook videos/status embeds don’t play nice with WordPress, so I did not include them here). As of writing this, Reactions had not come to iOS, but I would expect they will by the next update.
As for what this means for advertisers, that remains unclear at this point. Facebook’s Business Manager is letting you know—at least in the Notifications—when people “React” to promoted posts instead of just “Like” them; however, there is no “Reactions” column available in reporting as of now. There is also no indication how this may impact Facebook’s recent addition of the Google-esque Relevance Score.
Though Twitter was also rumored to be testing a similar emoji-based response tool on their network late last year, there’s no word on whether this is moving forward or not.