The aftermath of the buttonization of our emotions

No, I’m not referring to emojis or emoticons that are already taking us back to Egyptian hieroglyphics.

I’m referring to the new ways to react, on Facebook. The Like now has 5 more for company.



It’s early days to delve into the deeper implications for marketers and agencies with these new ways people can react to their posts. Facebook has started showing individual Reaction numbers on a per post basis, in Facebook Insights, but there are no ways to look at Page-level numbers. Brands cannot also use the new Reactions to target, in advertising.

However, Facebook’s new Reactions throws up a lot of intriguing issues that our society could do without. Here are some, to begin with. Now, these may sound frivolous and funny, but I think they are imminent!

1. Scene in a corporate boardroom

Brand manager: “Boss, we did really well with our last campaign on Facebook! It got 789 Likes, 2,287 Yays and 324 Wows!”
Boss: “But why does it have 1,453 Sads and 954 Angrys? You mean we paid money to Facebook to promote our campaign and we got this in return?”

2. Phone conversation between 2 friends

Friend #1: “Dude, what the heck?”
Friend #2: “What happened man?”
F1: “You just Liked that pun of mine?”
F2: “Oh yeah, it was nice! You called me to just ask that?”
F1: “No. I called to ask why you didn’t Love it?”
F2: “Well, I did Like it, didn’t I? “
F1: “You see, F3 Loved it! So much for our friendship!”
F2: “But, but…”
F1: <Disconnects call>

3. Frenzied meeting at a superstar’s fan association

Head of Superstar actor’s rabid fans association: “Friends! We have an important assignment for tonight!”
Rabid fans: “Anything for our dear star!”
Head: “Remember… at 12am tonight, that other actor’s new film teaser is releasing! We have got to show our might!”
Rabid fans: “Just tell us what to do and we will all do it immediately!”
Head: “Go to the Facebook post announcing the new teaser and click on Angry… all of you!”
Rabid fans: “But, is that ‘angry about the content of the post’ or ‘angry at the person posting it’?”
Head: “Aah, that’s the beauty of Facebook! There are no such nuances on Facebook! Let us build a new meaning to the Angry button and use it to our advantage!”
Rabid fans: “Deal! Here we come Angry!!”

(Replace superstar’s fans with devotees of a Godman, or followers of a political party, and we have a fantastic new problem in our hands!)

4. Phone conversation between a person and his ex-boss!

Tring tring!
“Hey, what’s the big idea?”
“Hmmm, who is this?”
“Aah, you don’t even have my number? I was in your team, remember?”
“Which company? Which team?”
<functional information being passed on>
“Oh! Yeah, now I remember! How are you doing?”
“I didn’t call you to tell me how I am doing! I just wanted to know why you Wow’ed my status update on my joining that hot start-up last year”
“Huh? I just noticed it randomly. I thought that was a good career move, so I Wow’ed it. What’s wrong?”
“I’ll tell you what’s wrong. That was an update from last year. Everybody has Liked it. You are the only one to Wow it, now. Frankly that looks like a sarcastic reaction!”
“Hey, I didn’t mean any sarcasm, I…”
“Yeah right, tell me about it! You <mild expletive>”
<steadily deteriorating conversation>

5. Phone conversation between mom and daughter

“Mom, what have you done?”
“Why, what happened?”
“Mom! You have Loved that post of mine where I mention that I had an accident!”
“Oh that, I was sending my love to you!”
“Did you see others’ reactions? They had Sadded it! You are the only one Love’ing it!”
“I can’t understand these things, I just sent my love to you!”

6. Conversation between YouTube Dislike button and Facebook Reactions’ brand new Angry button

Dislike button of YouTube: “Phew… I finally have company in Facebook’s Angry. At last, there’s another button for expressing a negative sentiment!”
Facebook’s Angry icon: “Duh… I’m no way like you, dude!”
YouTube Dislike: “Haha… that’s what you think. Just wait for people to exploit and creatively expand your use-case!”
Facebook Angry: “Groan!”
YouTube Dislike: “Now that’s a button that your boss should have added!”



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