Facebook Reactions debuted as the ad tech industry looks more seriously at emotional analysis. Eventually, consumers will only see the ads they want to see when and where they want to see them.
But for Facebook specifically and ad tech broadly, it’s early days in emotion. Facebook still has to figure out how to get more users to react with its nuanced responses while the ad tech industry grapples with creating more sophisticated behavior modeling to help improve programmatic marketing.
A Brief History of Reactions
For Mother’s Day, Facebook tested out a temporary flower-shaped Reaction meant to express gratitude. It marked the first adjustment to its Reactions since Facebook’s February announcement that it was extending the Like button to include a broader range of emotions, such as Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry. In a press release, Facebook said the change was the culmination of more than a year of global research into user preferences and behavior.
And, by some accounts, it is also an effort to appeal to mobile users who don’t want to type out more nuanced responses – and it further parallels the rise of emoji in an increasingly chat-based culture.