Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

This is what Facebook is planning on doing with your 'Reactions'

reactions.png

Facebook wants to know more about you.

It doesn't want to limit itself to knowing what you 'Like' - it wants to know what you love, what makes you laugh, angry or sad. And it wants to change your digital world with that information, tailoring your Facebook feed according to how you react. Which is worrying. 

At present, Facebook's News Feed algorithm - the clever code that filters through thousands of posts to present you with content it believes will matter the most to you - is treating Reactions as though they're 'Likes'.

"In the beginning, it won’t matter if someone likes, 'wows' or 'sads' a post - we will initially use any Reaction similar to a Like to infer that you want to see more of that type of content," writes product manager Sammi Krug in a recent blog post. "Over time we hope to learn how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by News Feed to do a better job of showing everyone the stories they most want to see."

But this is where things could soon get a bit shady. 

Say you're posting something that is important, but will likely generate a 'negative' reaction: sad news about a death, or a news event that has made you angry. You want to share it with others you believe will empathise with you. Most Facebook users will click 'Sad' or 'Angry' to resonate with your own emotional state. However, these aren't reactions users would usually want to see more of, so that important bit of information you wanted to share will likely get buried by Facebook's algorithm, because it would assume it's not something people will enjoy.

A political opinion that might challenge your own world view? You probably won't see it. The passing of a friend's relative you should probably be aware of? It'll pass you by.

It could also start affecting the way media and content groups attempt to share their stories. Krug explains, "We see this as an opportunity for businesses and publishers to better understand how people are responding to their content on Facebook... Reactions will have the same impact on ad delivery as likes."

It's totally possible that the News Feed algorithm will start filtering out any news stories or media releases that don't generate a 'positive' response, resulting in news groups having to find a 'Haha' or 'Love' spin for an important story. Advertisers will gain insights into how people react to their ads, sliding in between similar posts that generate a similar emotional response.

Facebook wants to know more about you, so that you spend more time on Facebook, in an environment you enjoy. With its business model of highly curated adverts, that will mean seeing ads similar to the content you 'React' to. Facebook may gradually start to become a feed of 'Like', 'Love' and 'Haha', as the important-but-negative content gets kicked to the curb. 

We're not sure if we 'Like' that or not.

Related

facebook.jpg

This guy has built the creepiest Facebook app ever

1.jpg

John Oliver just said what most of us are thinking about Donald Trump

reactions.jpg

How to get Facebook's new Reactions to work

Comments

More

Leaked poster appears to confirm Destiny 2 release date

And it sounds like they're doing a beta in June

by Matt Tate
23 Mar 2017

Android users can finally play Super Mario Run - and definitely should

Extended toilet breaks for everyone

by Matt Tate
23 Mar 2017

Apple have released a red iPhone and that is very important

And not just because it's red

by Gary Ogden
21 Mar 2017

Amazon's new Alexa update means it can bring you beer in two hours

"Alexa, we're going to need more booze"

by Matt Tate
21 Mar 2017

Forget traffic jams with this SUV that can drive over cars

Why has it taken so long to invent this?

by Dave Fawbert
21 Mar 2017

Zelda megafan controls his smart home with an ocarina

Pointless? Possibly. Are we envious? Definitely

by Matt Tate
20 Mar 2017

Why I pray every day for an 'SSX Tricky' remake

It's all about that Big Air Bonus

by Matt Tate
17 Mar 2017

Soon you'll be able to steal your mate's phone battery to charge your

"Oh come on, mate, I've only got 4%"

by Gary Ogden
17 Mar 2017

How to cheat your way to victory in 'Mario Kart 64'

Anyone fancy digging the old N64 out again?

by Matt Tate
17 Mar 2017

5 new(ish) mobile games guaranteed to make any commute bearable

It doesn't have to be this painful

by Matt Tate
16 Mar 2017