Facebook released its new Reactions feature on Wednesday, breaking down the spectrum of human feeling to six emotions, “love”, “haha”, “wow”, “sad” and “angry”. However, there’s far more to this new feature than simply allowing users more ways to express themselves for the sake of it.
Advertisers will “love” the news. By being able to see how you react to certain ads, Facebook will gain a greater understanding of brands that can then be adopted to inform future campaigns. The feature provides data that will change the way that brands can be analysed, allowing advertisers to measure this new data in order to create sales and revenue. The Facebook Reactions will enable businesses to use data to understand, on a multi-dimensional level, how the public feels about the products that they are posting on social media. This will allow businesses to streamline their advertising and better understand their campaigns.
And it’s not just marketers that will be reaping the benefits of this new feature – Facebook’s future success lies in its ability to keep itself current. The tool enables access to richer data on how its users react to the posts that appear in their news feeds. By personalising each user’s feed, it keeps the social media platform fresh and relevant. I am far more inclined to visit Facebook if the posts I see are relevant to my friends, rather than a stream of baby photos from people I went to school with, or my next door neighbour’s cat.
In forthcoming campaigns, this feature might well allow advertisers to adjust their advertising campaigns based on how Facebook users have reacted to previous ads. By going further than a simple “like” button and introducing an extra level of emotional communication via social media ads have become even more refined. In a column for BRW, Mark Cameron, CEO and head strategist of Working Three, explains “it is very easy to imagine a world where someone, after seeing the post about a friend’s parent passing away, hits a button that expresses “I’m sorry” and is then presented with an ad for flowers delivery”. Imagine a Facebook which takes you to an ad selling concert tickets every time you “loved” a music video? I would be far more disposed to visit a Facebook business page that my friends “loved”, and far less likely if they had expressed being “sad” or “angry”. Advertising opportunities have the potential to broaden with the launch of the Facebook Reactions feature.
Advertisers are far from “sad” and “angry” at the news. In fact they don’t just “like” Facebook Reactions”, they “love” them.