Update: During Facebook's quarterly earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Reactions have been tweaked since testing began and reiterated that it will roll out soon to every platform.
He also said this about the new feature:
"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 overtime the community feels less comfortable sharing that kind of content on Facebook.
"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.
"We think that's 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."
Original article below...
The pity like will soon be a thing of the past. Facebook is nearly ready to roll out Reactions, its answer to a "dislike" button, and will do so "in the next few weeks."
Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, who came up with Reactions, told Bloomberg Businessweek that's when we can expect the feature to roll out in the US and around the globe.
If you need a refresher, Reactions provide more options to respond to other Facebook posts than the standard Like button.
Since you don't always want to Like a friend's announcement that they are getting divorced, for example, Reactions provide a range of responses that let you engage with the post without Liking something you don't really like.
The Reactions are angry, sad, wow, haha, yay and love. To access the emojis, press down on the like button and the Reactions, which are animated, will appear.
You may be "sad" to hear about the passing of a loved one, feel "angry" for an injustice, or simply "love" a new baby photo.
Reactions will almost certainly get users responding to more posts as they'll have a range of responses to choose from that better illustrate how they really feel.
It will also give Facebook a ton of data about what users are interacting with and how, which in turn will likely lead to your News Feed becoming populated with posts you're more likely to engage with.