Facebook users can now react to posts with a series of emoticons to express emotions other than ‘like’.
Until now, there has been only one reaction available to people who wanted to acknowledge what someone had posted on their profile.
From Wednesday, users can click that their reaction is ‘Love’, ‘Angry’, ‘Sad’, ‘Wow’ or ‘Haha’ as well as ‘Like’.
The new ‘Reactions’ are an extension of the ‘Like’ button, which Facebook says allow users to express sadness, amazement, anger, love and amusement.
In a blog post, product manager Sammi Krug said: “We’ve been listening to people and know that there should be more ways to easily and quickly express how something you see in news feed makes you feel.
“That’s why today we are launching Reactions, an extension of the Like button, to give you more ways to share your reaction to a post in a quick and easy way.”
The five new buttons appear along with ‘like’ when a user hovers their cursor over the ‘like’ button.
Facebook launched a pilot of the system in Ireland and Spain in October featuring seven reactions.
The ‘Yay’ emoticon, which was present in the pilot launch has not yet been included.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote: “Not every moment you want to share is happy. 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.
“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the right way to do this with our team. The result is Reactions.
“Love is the most popular reaction so far, which feels about right to me!”
The company said it will also use ‘Reactions’ to track user behaviour and for ad delivery.
The feature received mixed reviews from users on the social networking site.
When MP Matt Warman posted about it on his Facebook page, Paul Mullins responded: “Could do with a few more choices I feel. Perhaps a big thumbs down.”
Terry Ward added: “Further proof of the intellectual limitations of social media. Dumbing down the world, one algorithm at a time.”