No one uses react on Facebook

If any emoji could represent Facebook right now, it would be?.

Why? According to a new study of Quintly, a social analytics platform, Facebook’s Hullabalooed Reactions buttons account for only 3% of all interactions on the social network.

When Facebook officially rolled out six Reactions in February, it was a big deal. As writer Sarah Frier put it in a feature article by Bloomberg “Changing the button is like Coca-Cola messing with its secret recipe.”

Of the six Reactions, one was just the old-fashioned “like” button, but the rest – a heart, a smiley face, a surprised face, a sad face, and an angry face – were makes a fundamental change in the way social networking works.

Or, at least, they have to.


Chart via Quintly

As this chart shows, the majority of interactions on Facebook are still classics: likes, shares, and comments. Other studies have reached similar conclusions. Unmetric, another analytics company, had found that 93 percent of Reactions are Likes. Another study, from research firm UserTesting, suggested why: People don’t know how to access new nodes. However, 45% of respondents rated them hard to find 80 percent found them useful when they did.

Quintly’s research also showed that the heart emoji designed to represent love was the most popular symbol of the New Reaction year. Facebook couldn’t be too happy about that result either, considering a real love isn’t all that different from a like.

However, there is an interesting nuance that users have 40 percent more likely to use React on Facebook videos than photos. It seems intuitive that videos, which often include stronger narration than still images, will provoke more reactions.


Graph via Quintly

While Reactions are still relatively new, you should question how Facebook will motivate people to use them more often. More reactions mean more data for Facebook’s algorithm — an angry face, for example, sends a very different signal than a like. These emojis also help brands and publishers optimize their content without having to parse through comments.

So far, it’s clear that this feature hasn’t worked. Now, the question is: Will Facebook find a way to revive it, or will it die a slow, sad death??


By Nguyen Manh Cuong

Nguyen Manh Cuong is the author and founder of the nguyendiep blog. With over 14 years of experience in Online Marketing, he now runs a number of successful websites, and occasionally shares his experience & knowledge on this blog.

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