Facebook users have been asking for more ways to quickly express how they feel about something in their news feeds, leading FB to launch five additional emoticons in addition to the "Like" button (Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry). Although these emoticons have been added by popular demand, there's a benefit to Facebook as well. Sammi Krug, Product Manager at Facebook, says in her blog:
"Initially, just as we do when someone likes a post, if someone uses a Reaction, we will infer they want to see more of that type of post. 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. 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."
Business Insider speculates that Facebook will use the information to even further fine-tune the algorithm that dictates what each of us sees in our news feed, using the data to determine the "optimal mix of happy, sad, amazing, funny, and infuriating posts to keep users coming back to the news feed every day."
Business pages may see an increase in reactions (likes) now that there are more options, but may conversely see a decrease in comments. Facebook continually changes their algorithm, and we will continue to monitor any changes and how it may affect your visibility to clients via your Facebook page.
Businesses can take their cues from Facebook, though, and use this feature to further understand their customers. What kind of posts give you the most interaction with your customers? Although reactions do not equal profit, this new feature gives businesses another tool to collect data about their customers.