The ability to interact with Facebook posts had remained static for a long time. Like, share, comment, ignore and report were pretty much the only ways to make your feelings known. Facebook Reactions offered users another way to express themselves, and results have been mixed.
Content marketing agency Fractl looked at the top three posts, as ranked by Reactions, from CNN, Fox News, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal to illustrate how the new options are being used to react to news content in Facebook feeds.
The most popular Reaction was Love, which encompassed 54 percent of all non-like Reactions during the observation period. The standard like is still the default method most people use to react to posts. However, Fractl found that as likes overall increase, so, too, does the the ratio of non-like Reactions. On average, the ratio between likes and other Reactions was 5-to-1.
The Brussels attacks generated a lot of emotional reaction rather than likes, which is understandable, given the subject matter of the reporting from news agencies. HuffPost’s audience used 18,400 Reactions for every 10,000 likes, and The New York Times’ audience reacted similarly, with 11,300 reactions for every 10,000 likes.
This was ultimately Facebook’s goal in creating the reaction system: to give people a way to interact with content without necessarily clicking “like.” The general reaction from users was a mix of sadness and anger. Most posts received Sad Reactions at a rate of 56 percent to 70 percent, and 24 percent to 40 percent were Anger Reactions. Fox News saw 52 percent Sad Reactions and 46 percent Anger Reactions.
To see which publishers received the most interactions overall, and to see more on how audiences sentiment differs, check out the full report.