Facebook is taking more notice of Reactions than Likes to control your News Feed content


When Facebook first introduced Reactions users were pleased to finally have the chance to be more expressive, rather than simply 'liking' something. But the excitement soon waned when the social network revealed that it didn’t make any difference which Reaction users clicked -- it was simply registered as an interaction.

But now Facebook has revealed that the Reaction you have to individual posts has a greater influence over what appears in your News Feed. A Like registers as a Like, but if you react with Love, Wow, Angry or one of the other reactions, Facebook notes that this is a stronger reaction and tweaks your News Feed accordingly.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this is how Reactions worked right from the beginning -- it makes complete sense after all. But in fact it is only just now that Reactions are seen as being more significant that the humble Like. In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said:

Over the past year we've found that if people leave a Reaction on a post, it is an even stronger signal that they'd want to see that type of post than if they left a Like on the post. So we are updating News Feed to weigh reactions a little more than Likes when taking into account how relevant the story is to each person.

This still makes it sound as though all Reactions are being treated equally, and it certainly does not follow -- necessarily -- that someone indicating that a post elicits an angry reaction would actually like to see more posts like that. Really it seems as if Reactions are being treated as if they are super-Likes. You may want to adjust you use of Reactions accordingly.

Interestingly, Facebook also reveals that the most commonly used Reaction is Love -- heartening news in these otherwise rather bleak times.

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