How are Fans Using Facebook Reactions?


Darsana Vijay

July 18, 2016 3 min read

Updated on May 5, 2017

There was a great deal of excitement following Facebook’s proposal to revamp the Like button towards the end of last year. With the introduction of Facebook Reactions (‘love’, ‘haha, ‘sad’, ‘angry’ and ‘wow’), Brands could know how their Fans felt about their Posts. This feedback is crucial in ideating new products, rebranding existing ones and even understanding what content works best on Facebook. It sounded quite like a snapshot summary of the insights a social listening tool would be able to come up with.

However, when Reactions was rolled out universally by the end of February, studies noted that people still kept ‘Liking’ Posts. Other Reactions were rarely used. We tapped into our repository of Brand data to see how things stand now, almost five months later.pablo_3-7.pngWe looked at data spanning ten weeks (from the 25th of April to 3rd July) from close to 32,000 Brands. We examined the number and distribution of different Reactions each Brand Post received and tabulated it.

Here’s what we found:

  1. On an average, every Post receives over 76 reactions (excluding ‘Like’). Check out the trend:
    The use of Reactions is definitely on the rise.
  2. It’s still Like, Like, Like, Like, Like. A staggering percentage of all Reactions were still Likes (93.65%). However, we did notice a falling trend. Take a look at this graph which shows overall Likes as a percentage of all the Reactions. Since you can’t choose more than one Reaction for the same Post, the dip in ‘Likes’ may be because of people favouring other Reactions.
  3. The average number of Reactions (other than ‘Like’) received over time is steadily increasing. The chart below shows the number of ‘Love’, ‘Haha’, ‘Wow’, ‘Angry’ and ‘Sad’ that each Post received (on average) over the course of the ten weeks studied.
  4. Love is the most commonly used Reaction, followed by ‘Haha’.
  5. The share of each reaction to the total number of recorded reactions showed little or no change over time.

This data shows that Fans are warming up to using Facebook Reactions as opposed to just ‘Liking’ the Posts. It might still be a while for people to use Reactions without much thought, the way they ‘Like’ Posts. Analysts need to consider reach in terms of the impressions that their Posts receive, in addition to looking at Reactions data. Knowing how many people saw a particular Post and did not engage with it is crucial to developing a well-rounded perspective about their social strategy.

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