Facebook now allows users to express several new ways to offer feedback on their friends’ posts. UMass Dartmouth Charlton College of Business Marketing Professor Dr. Nora Barnes, who serves as Director of the University’s Center for Marketing Research, offers her reaction to the social media network going beyond the ‘like’.
What's your reaction to Facebook users now being able to express laughter, shock, anger, and more on a post?
NB: I'm not surprised. Facebook users have been asking for more options than the ‘like’ button for quite a while. A "dislike" button was floated but I think it was wisely rejected by Facebook. Instead we have new emoji type buttons for Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. Last year Twitter changed its star to indicate favorites, to a heart. The larger picture here is a movement across social media to more visuals and speed.
It's the Snapchat/Instagram/Infographics effect. People want to express themselves visually and quickly. Facebook is making that easier. Users have asked for this and it will probably increase engagement.
How does this impact the Facebook strategies of brands, companies, and other organizations?
NB: The problem here is analytics. Fans, followers, and likes are standard social media metrics. Many companies report evaluating the success of their Facebook accounts based on the number of likes they have. They may now have to figure out how to measure the meaning of some Wows and Hahas.
As Facebook changes, brand strategy will need to change too. Companies may benefit from increased engagement and the new options could potentially help companies learn more about their ads, products, etc.
Do you think other social media networks (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) will look into how their users can express more emotions on posts?
NB: I think all social networking sites evolve. They add new features, expand options and look to innovate. Twitter has been talking about longer tweets, up to 10,000 characters. Logistically, this may cause negative reaction if it becomes more difficult to move through a Twitter feed. But changes will come as social networks continue to fight for users as platforms proliferate.
About Nora Barnes
Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes earned a Ph.D. in Consumer Behavior from the University of Connecticut and is a Chancellor Professor of Marketing and Director of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
As Director of UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research, she has provided services in brand and product development, research, promotion, and commercial television production to hundreds of clients. The Center serves as the primary link between the University and businesses in the region. Prominent members of the business community sit on the Center's Advisory Board and interact with students through the projects conducted under Dr. Barnes' supervision.
Dr. Barnes has published more than 125 articles in academic and professional journals and proceedings, and has contributed chapters to books. In addition she has supervised the writing of approximately 200 business monographs. She is a frequent presenter, session chair and track chair at academic conferences and sits on the review boards of the Health Marketing Quarterly, the Journal of Professional Services Marketing, and the Journal of Marketing Management.