You’re About to Start Giving Facebook a Lot More Personal Information

Facebook's new "Reactions" will make them more money. But who's complaining? Everybody wins.

January 29, 2016

Soon, we’re all going to be telling Facebook even more information about ourselves – and making them a ton of money in the process.

Mark says thanks.

Mark Zuckerberg says thanks

Facebook has experimented with altering their “Like” button for the past few months, testing different ways that users can react to content. Trial countries included Ireland, Spain, and Chile.

The verdict is in.

Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, confirmed that “Reactions” will be going global “in the next few weeks”.

Instead of only having the option to “like” a post, users will soon be able to choose from five additional options (see below).

Yay was ultimately rejected after experiments proved it was not “universally understood”

On a personal level, Facebook flirting is about to get turned up about a million notches. “Loving” that cute girl from the gym’s most recent status? No-brainer (although slightly creepy).

But what will change for companies that use Facebook as an advertising, growth, or sales tool? And how does this benefit Facebook and its users?

Let’s take a look.

What do the new Reactions mean for advertisers?

The introduction of “Reactions” will make Facebook an even more useful tool for advertisers, specifically when it comes to targeting.

fb-ads

Right now, Facebook offers advertisers a ton of information about its users, including their interests, posts/pages they’ve liked, age, job, location, and countless other data points.

Companies use this information to target potential customers effectively, arguably with more data and reach than they can get anywhere else on the Internet.

Now that users can choose between “like” and “love,” or communicate anger with a pissed off emoji face (which will, by default, become the “dislike” button that Facebook refuses to include), companies will have more information to use in targeting their users.

In addition, they’ll actually be able to see what their audience thinks about the ads themselves – making Facebook an even more attractive platform for them. Real time ROI, right?

What does this mean for brands looking to grow/engage/sell to their current followers?

The way users engage with shared content is going to change.

Fans will be able to provide more specific feedback, which in turn will allow brands to learn more about their audience (and maybe themselves).

Here’s an example to explain:

CNN shares some clickbait about Kim Kardashian. Instead of CNN’s fans simply ignoring the post, thousands will start “disliking” with the angry face emoji. The next day, CNN realizes that this looks really bad and is forced to deliver actual, ya know, news in the future.

Facebook is giving us the tools to end the Kardashians, guys!

On the opposite end of the spectrum, a thousand “loves” looks great. So companies are incentivized to produce better content and are rewarded for doing so. Or more puppy pictures… it is the internet, after all.

Plus, they’re able to more clearly distinguish between casual fans and potential influencers, due to the “like” and “love” options.

What does this mean for Facebook?

Advertisements make Facebook a ton of money already, with mobile ads alone accounting for 80% of their total revenue last quarter.

Now that those ads have extra potential, they become a more lucrative revenue stream.

On top of that, more relevant ads/content keeps users on the platform longer, and incentivizes more engagement.

What does this mean for Facebook’s users?

Facebook wins big. But guess what?

So do its users.

More relevant ads? Check.

Better original content being produced by brands? Check.

The ability to finally select “sad” on an article about Trump leading in the polls? Check.

This, my friends, is a win for everyone.


A note from The Hustle: Every morning at 9am Pacific, we send an email with the top news stories in business and tech. It's kind of like if your friend read the internet all day then told you the important stuff in a fun, easy to understand way. Join the club and impress your coworkers with how smart you are.


Kendall BakerKendall Baker // The Hustle
Welcome to The Hustle. We send a daily email that makes you smart with all the news you need to know. Sound good? Gravy. Learn more →