It’s been a year since Facebook introduced their larger range of reactions to the platform. There’s not just a simple 'like' anymore; the extended range of reactions have been used over 300 billion times since release and now they’re making a big impact by influencing what you’ll see on your Facebook News Feed. Facebook loves changing up their algorithms, don't they?
Due to the success and widespread use of the reactions, Facebook has decided to change how their usage affects what content you see in your News Feed. If you leave a 'love' reaction on a post, Facebook will prioritise other (similar) posts they think you'll also ‘love’, rather than just 'like' which isn't viewed as strongly by the algorithm. In simple terms, love is better than like in the world of Facebook.
A spokesperson from Facebook 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”.
This is likely because it requires more time and effort to react to a post rather than just clicking ‘like’. However there is no consideration for the type of reaction you give, both the ‘Angry’ and ‘Haha’ reactions will receive the same level of importance. This is especially strange given that the ‘Love’ reaction accounted for more than 50% of all reactions used in the past year.
Currently, reactions hold the same weight as likes for Facebook adverts and you can check how people reacted to each of your adverts in your Ads Manager. However, these changes are likely to carry over to Facebook Adverts in the near future and will provide another way to target consumers more accurately based on their exact choice of reaction.
So, for 2017, Facebook is all about spreading the love. Cute.