Facebook announced on Wednesday the global release of "Reactions," a series of buttons based on emotions that go beyond the iconic "Like" button after more than a year of development.
The new options appear when a user presses the Like button for an extended time on mobile devices or on a Web browser.
Alongside Like, users will get to choose from a series of emoji-like Reactions named "Love," "Haha," "Wow," "Sad" and "Angry." There is no "Dislike" option, a feature some users have requested for years.
Facebook first unveiled the Like button in 2009, a feature that quietly revolutionised how users interacted with the site and added an essential new metric for advertisers.
From the beginning, many wanted options that went beyond pure positivity.
"Not every moment you want to share is happy," Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg noted in a post Wednesday.
"Sometimes you want to share something sad or frustrating. Our community has been asking for a dislike button for years, but not because people want to tell friends they don't like their posts. People wanted to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions."
The new feature was heavily tested, including with a limited roll-out in Spain and Ireland that included two options - "Yay" and "Confused." Both were cut from Wednesday’s release.
"For more than a year we have been conducting global research including focus groups and surveys to determine what types of reactions people would want to use most," Sammi Krug, a product manager at the company, wrote in the announcement.
"We also looked at how people are already commenting on posts and the top stickers and emoticons as signals for the types of reactions people are already using to determine which reactions to offer."