YOUR NEWS FEED is about to get a lot more expressive. After months of user testing in a handful of countries, Facebook today is releasing “Reactions” to the rest of the world. The feature isn’t so much a new tool as it is an extension of an existing one; by long-pressing—or, on a computer, hovering—over the “like” button, users can now access five additional animated emoji with which to express themselves. Each emotive icon is named for the reaction it’s meant to convey. “Like” you already know—say hello to “love,” “haha,” “wow,” “sad,” and “angry”.
Distilling the vast range of human emotions into a single row of emoji is no simple design problem, so Zhuo and the team enlisted the help of Dacher Keltner, a professor of social psychology at UC Berkeley. Keltner was a science consultant on Pixar’s Inside Out and had worked with Facebook previously to develop stickers, a precursor to Reactions that Facebook brought to Messenger in 2014. Keltner told Zhuo’s team that, to fully capture the complexity of human emotion, Facebook would need to include 20 to 25 different reaction emoji—enough to convey everything from fear to desire to relief. “But then you know, you’re constrained by engineering” says Keltner; 20 emoji, in other words, was too many.
Read the whole story: Wired