Here at the social media Farnham based agency, Thunderbolt Digital, we make sure to keep up the latest social media news so we are certain we are delivering the best social media marketing services to our clients. It comes as no surprise then that here at Thunderbolt we are intrigued by the new changes Facebook will be rolling out soon. Their ‘like’ button, a feature so well known it has become synonymous with the social media network itself, is getting an expansion. Soon it will not be one memorable icon, but five. ‘Like’ has been split into Like, Sad, Angry, Wow and Love.
So why is the change needed? Well Facebook claims it is trying to crack down on ‘inappropriate likes’. Users are apparently unsure on the proper etiquette of how to use their famous like button. When it comes to less cheerful topics, such as acknowledging a user’s ended relationship, it is often wondered whether the cheerful ‘thumbs-up’ icon is an appropriate response. The four new buttons are there to expand the user’s repertoire of reactions, hopefully cancelling out any awkwardness.
However will these four new options really cut it? Users of social media often pour the most personal elements of their lives online and can reactions to this really boil down to five ‘essentials’? Also is this truly the end of inappropriate reactions? Does picking the ‘sad’ option at the news of someone’s breakup mean you are sad that the people in the relationship are no longer together or that you are sharing sympathy for the person who posted the status? Each emoticon shares the same ambiguity felt by the Like button.
Perhaps it simply adds another layer of confusion? Simplicity is key to social media. Users want to share by simply clicking a button and moving on, the site making the most of their few seconds of attention span. The user now has to pick between five ambiguous options to decide which is the most appropriate for their reaction. If this takes too long, they will simply give up and move on. This could not only make users a little less social but also deny essential feedback to those who market their products on social media.