Facebook Explains How “Reactions” Emoji Will Influence News Feed Reach

During testing in Ireland and Spain, Reaction emoji will be treated the same as Likes and indicate people want to see more similar posts.

Chat with MarTechBot


During Facebook’s testing of Reactions emoji, Facebook will treat them just like a Like when it comes to ranking posts in the News Feed algorithm.

“Our goal is to show you the stories that matter most to you in News Feed,” Facebook product manager Chris Tosswill wrote in a News Feed FYI post. “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. We will spend time learning from this initial rollout and iterate based on findings in the future.”

The test, rolling out today in Ireland and Spain, gives users the ability to react with six emoji to express love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness or anger. The feature will be available on all Facebook posts, friends, Pages and advertisers alike.


“We see this as an opportunity for businesses and publishers to better understand how people are responding to their content on Facebook,” Tosswill wrote. “During this test, Page owners will be able to see Reactions to all of their posts on Page insights. Reactions will have the same impact on ad delivery as Likes do. We will spend time learning from this initial test and use that feedback to improve. Overall, Pages should continue to post things that their audience finds meaningful and continue using our Page post best practices.”

Of course, this simple approach is bound to get more complicated when Facebook rolls the feature out more widely. The sentiments expressed by the emoji are quite nuanced, and Facebook is bound to eventually take those differences into account within its famously complicated algorithm.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Martin Beck
Martin Beck was Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter from March 2014 through December 2015.

Get the must-read newsletter for marketers.