Another month and another pretty significant change to the world’s biggest social media site…

Facebook is rolling out a series of “reactions”, which it hopes will help users to react to other people’s content in a more nuanced manner than at present.

At present people have to rely on the tried and tested “like” button to register their approval.

For a while Facebook has been urged to introduce more options, giving people a way to respond if the content that has popped up on their timeline makes them sad or angry.

Now the site has bowed to popular demand and plans to roll out five new symbols which will sit alongside the existing thumbs-up icon. These reactions are already being trialled in several countries and will be arriving in the UK fairly soon.

On the face of it this is only a cosmetic change, but in fact it will have far more benefit for businesses than it may immediately appear.

Let’s say you’re an accountancy firm posting a link to a new story about the latest HMRC blunder – pretty soon a flurry of frowning faces may appear on your timeline. Far more people could be digesting your content than you’ve previously realised and the more flexible system will give them the opportunity to register their views.

There are also benefits to those who advertise on the site, some of whom had started to question whether the number of “likes” a business had received was a real assessment of their success.

The current system was slightly devalued when it recently emerged that an imaginary bagel-selling business had managed to glean over 4,000 likes from people around the world.

With reactions waiting in the wings, it is likely that companies will be able to get a clearer sense of what their clients are thinking and potential clients can get a more reliable idea about how a business is performing.

Categories: Blog