'Wow': Facebook launches 'Reactions' worldwide

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How to Love, Wow, Angry, Sad and Haha on Facebook

WASHINGTON/BENGALURU, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Facebook users around the globe can now do more than "like" a post. They can love it, laugh at it or feel angered by it.

The social network rolled out "Reactions" - an extension of the "Like" button - worldwide on Wednesday, to allow users to express sadness, wow, anger, love and laughter.

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In a video accompanying a blog post, the five new buttons appear as animated emoticons that pop up when the "Like" button is held down on mobile devices. The buttons appear on desktops when users hover over the "Like" button.

Facebook launched a pilot of "Reactions" - which allowed users to select from seven emotions including "Angry," "Sad," "Wow" and "Like" - in Ireland and Spain in October.

The "Yay" emoticon, which was present in the pilot launch, was not seen in Wednesday's video.

Today we're launching a pilot test of Reactions — a more expressive Like button. As you can see, it's not a "dislike" button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly. We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun. Starting today Ireland and Spain can start loving, wow-ing, or expressing sympathy to posts on Facebook by hovering or long-pressing the Like button wherever they see it. We'll use the feedback from this to improve the feature and hope to roll it out to everyone soon.

Posted by Chris Cox on Thursday, October 8, 2015

"People wanted to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions," Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in September the company was thinking of adding a "dislike" button, which spearheaded a debate over whether it would increase cyber bullying and negativity on the site. In October, the company said it would expand its signature "Like" button with various reactions.

The slow test and rollout of the expanded button - which Zuckerberg has said is the company's biggest design change to date - is a marked change from Zuckerberg's famous mantra, "move fast and break things."

The company said it will also use "Reactions" to track user behavior and for ad delivery.

"We will initially use any Reaction similar to a Like to infer that you want to see more of that type of content," Facebook said in a separate blog post.

The feature received mixed reviews from users on social networking sites.

See more of the reaction below:

10 PHOTOS
Reactions to Facebook new Like button
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'Wow': Facebook launches 'Reactions' worldwide
New Facebook "like" options include: love, haha, wow, sad, angry, boo, drool, Pennywise, nickels, dirt, awwwwwwwwwww, quizno, gargoyle, no
I’ve had the new Facebook reactions for 20 minutes and I already accidentally “wow”ed the status of someone I haven’t talked to in 10 years
The problem with Facebook's new reaction buttons is there's no "I can't handle this BS anymore I'm heading on over to Twitter' icon.
Facebook needs to add one more "reaction".... https://t.co/kCEx4dqe8S
Facebook forcing me to identify my emotional reaction instead of just "liking." https://t.co/6tbgpowTEx
To get the new 'reaction emojis' on @Facebook, simply press and hold the 'LIKE' button: https://t.co/2sGMzzZp4y https://t.co/WJVb9xk4eq
It’s official: Facebook debuts 💖,😆,😮,😥, and 😡 to supplement its “Like” button https://t.co/NRl786o3rw
RT @MattNavarra: All the Like button variations tested by Facebook https://t.co/FD7EKgORFC https://t.co/NyXSEm0na7
IT'S ABOUT TIME - GOOD START>Facebook just introduced the biggest change since the 'Like' button https://t.co/K7lHp022em via @techinsider
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Many complained that they could not see the new emoticons, while some were unhappy that Facebook did not launch a "dislike" button.

Marina Cupo wrote on Facebook: "I would rather have had a DISLIKE button and then attach an emotion instead if I want!"

Users have often responded negatively to similar changes on other sites. Twitter, for example, replaced its star-shaped "favorite" icon with a heart-shaped icon called "like" in November. Users initially scorned the change, but Twitter later said it increased activity on the site.

RELATED: Facebook's data centers:

16 PHOTOS
Inside Facebook Data Centers
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'Wow': Facebook launches 'Reactions' worldwide
Joel Kjellgren, Data Center Manager walks in one of the server rooms at the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Signage stands outside the Facebook Inc. Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Facebook Inc. flag flies next to a U.S. flag outside the company's Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Signage made up of individual faces is displayed inside the Facebook Inc. Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The silhouette of an employee is seen standing in front of a cooling system that pulls air in from outside at the Facebook Inc. Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee puts in a filter that protects against pollen, bugs, and dust from the outside air that is pulled in at the Facebook Inc. Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee fixes part of a web server inside the Facebook Inc. Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Joel Kjellgren, Data Center Manager opens a server in one of server rooms at the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture taken with a fisheye lens shows a man walks past a big logo created from pictures of Facebook users worldwide in the company's Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Thousands of servers are pictured at the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture taken with a fisheye lens shows the Evaporator Room of the first server rooms in the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
The Relief Room of the first server rooms is pictured in the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Employees work at the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Signage is reflected in a window at the Facebook Inc. Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Oregon, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The Facebook Prineville Data Center features leading energy-efficient technology, including features such as rainwater reclamation, a solar energy installation for providing electricity to the office areas and reuse of heat created by the servers to heat office space. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Joel Kjellgren, Data Center Manager shows a server in one of server rooms at the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Luleaa, Swedish Lapland. The company began construction on the facility in October 2011 and went live on June 12, 2013 and are 100% run on hydro power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
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