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Saturday 10 December 2016

How do you like that? Facebook's Irish users first to test new emojis

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

Irish social media fans are to become some of the first in the world to get to use Facebook's new emotions buttons.

The popular social network is to launch a new series of "reaction" buttons that will allow users to express more emotions than just 'like'.

Now Facebookers in Ireland and Spain have been chosen to be the first to test the new system before it is rolled out to the rest of the world.

Users based on Irish soil will have the opportunity to tell their online friends whether they're feeling love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness or anger with the new tool, which is expected to go on a trial run soon.

According to a report on tech website Engadget, hovering over the like button on Facebook will bring up seven round icons with different emotions, which can then be selected.

Facebook's product manager Chris Tosswill said the new "reactions" would help the company to filter the posts that appear in users' newsfeeds.

"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," Tosswill said.

"We will spend time learning from this initial roll-out and iterate based on findings in the future.

Understanding

"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 do," he added.

In September, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook was working on an alternative to the "Like" button, after years of users calling for "dislike".

When asked about the possibility of a dislike button, he confirmed that new options were coming - but it wasn't going to be just 'dislike' as users expected.

"We're working on it and are very close to shipping a test of it," he said.

"We didn't want to just build a dislike button because we don't want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people's posts. That doesn't seem like the kind of community we want to create."

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