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  • Writer's pictureTMR Creative Studios

Ever wondered why Facebook introduced 'reactions'?

Once upon a time, the good old 'Like' button was simple and adequate enough...

Your cousin posted her millionth picture of an ever ungrateful looking cat and you obliged with a 'Like' because, you know, family. Your best friend posted her billionth selfie complete with duck-lips and 20 filters and again, you hit that 'Like' button and maybe even threw in a "You look stunning babe" comment for good measure because, well, whatever. Each to their own 😉.

But what did you do when your feelings towards the post didn't actually represent a 'Like' and you couldn't be bothered to leave a comment? You would simply scroll past, right?

Enter Facebook reactions to give you and I the ability to express different emotions on social media with a couple of clicks. "Hurrah!" you must have thought. "I can now let my friend know that her stupid cat pictures make me feel angry and not type any words. THANK YOU FACEBOOK!". And we've been using them ever since.

So yes. Facebook reactions were a great idea. But not for the reasons you're thinking.

I'm sure you've noticed those 'suggested posts' and other ads inside your news feed as you scroll through your friend's posts. They are Facebook's primary revenue stream. And with over 2 BILLION active monthly users- which is a quarter of the world's population - now spending their time on Facebook, Mr Zuckerberg's brainchild has become one of the best places for targeted advertising.

So naturally, more ads mean $$$ for Facebook. And more $$$ for Facebook result in cool new features and products for you and I. Oh, and eventual world domination for Facebook.

But what do reactions have to do with ads?

Facebook now has the ability to understand the true intention behind every user's 'Like'. The more Facebook knows about your personality and habits, the more impact the targeted advertising will have.

Let's say the products that we want to advertise on Facebook are accessories for Apple's new iPhone X. Facebook lets us determine the target audience so the ads will go the right person.

To use a basic example, to start with you can choose:

  • People aged between 18-50

  • In London, UK

  • Who have 'Liked' Apple, TechCrunch, CNet, Steve Jobs on Facebook

In addition to the above, people reacting in a certain way towards pictures or videos of the iPhone X (or its competitors), helps Facebook to refine the target audience even further. So if you have recently 'Liked' or 'Loved' posts regarding the new iPhone X and reacted 'Angrily' towards Samsung's posts then guess what? You will be determined as an Apple fan and the chances are, you will see ads specifically for products related to Apple instead of Samsung.

Wow! What a move by Facebook!

Indeed. For Facebook, this was just another step towards perfecting its understanding on all its users. They already offered great tools for marketers to find and advertise to the right target audience and expand their reach. With reactions, they now also have a better understanding of what makes you laugh, sad or angry which in turn makes Facebook even more of an attraction to companies big or small to advertise their products or services on.


If you've come this far, then I hope you have enjoyed the article so please leave a comment, share your thoughts and subscribe to future posts.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you want to learn more about the benefits of social media marketing for your business or have any questions regarding Facebook ads​.

Thank you very much for reading.



Founder at TMR Creative Studios

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