What Are Facebook Reactions? (All You Need To Know)

Once upon a time, you couldn’t like or react to any posts. However, Facebook has slowly implemented these things over the last couple of decades. 

Furthermore, only a few years ago, Facebook upgraded the usual like button into a “react” button. As a central feature at Facebook, this upended a lot of users. To find out more about these reactions, keep reading!

What Are Facebook Reactions In [currentyear]?

Facebook reactions are a way for users to be a bit more specific about their likes in [currentyear]. Furthermore, they provide six different ways that customers can react to a post, including sad and angry reactions. Therefore, users can go beyond simply liking a post to be more specific about their intentions. Additionally, these reactions are faster than leaving comments. 

Let’s take a look at the different reaction options and why they were added, to begin with. 

What Do The Facebook Reactions Mean?

Reactions are an extension of the like button; therefore, instead of simply liking a post, you can post a different reaction instead. 

Furthermore, this allows users to be more careful about what reactions they’re sharing. 

For instance, now, if someone posts something sad, you can leave a sad reaction – instead of a like. This way, you can avoid any miscommunication about your intentions. 

However, some have been a bit confused about which reactions mean what. 

After all, there isn’t much explanation from even the app itself on them.

So, here’s a quick rundown of what each reaction means:

  • Heart: Love
  • Open-Mouthed Face: Haha
  • O-shaped Mouth Face: Wow
  • Crying Face: Sade
  • Red Face: Angry

Furthermore, you can use these reactions to show how you feel more accurately. 

Also, all reactions count as engagements on a business account – even if it is an angry or sad reaction. 

Where Are Facebook Reactions?

To see the reactions, you have to hold down the like button, as Facebook reactions are simply an extension of the like button. 

Therefore, you can use them instead of the like button. After the reactions pop up, you can drag to the one you like and then release it.

Then, that is the reaction that will appear on the post. Additionally, others can see who left what reaction; therefore, keep in mind that your reaction is public. 

You can also remove a reaction by pressing it again. After removing it, you can leave another.

Furthermore, this is useful for times when you accidentally press the wrong reaction. Once the reaction is removed, no one can tell that it was ever left. 

Why Did Facebook Add Reactions?

Why Did Facebook Add Reactions?

There are likely many reasons that Facebook decided to add reactions. This feature wasn’t decided by a singular person, after all. 

For the most part, Facebook decided to add these reactions because it allowed users to be more specific about their intentions.

Furthermore, before, likes were a vague “a saw this post” reaction that didn’t necessarily mean that users liked the post. 

For instance, if someone posted a picture about a sad event (like their pet dying), alike was the only possible reaction. However, not many people really “liked” the sad event. 

Therefore, with the intent of the reactions, people can now post a sad or even angry reaction.

In this way, they can be more clear of their intentions quickly without needing to leave a comment alongside their like. 

However, this has led to some issues as Facebook has ranked certain reactions higher than others. 

For instance, angry reactions are weighed more than simply a like. Therefore, controversial content tends to perform better than more agreeable content. 

Therefore, companies want users to be mad or sad about their content, as it leads to higher engagement. 

Additionally, more engagement means that the company’s posts will show up to a wider range of people, increasing the potential for new customers. 

Over time, this has led to controversial content taking a bigger front seat, while agreeable content tends to get pushed to the back, as it simply elicits likes. 

Who Can See My Facebook Reactions?

Everyone can see Facebook reactions by hovering over the reaction area on the post. 

When done, this brings up a small box that may show who left certain reactions. Though, when there are many reactions on a post, there are usually too many names to list. 

However, the person can always look at the reaction list, which brings up a more exact list of who left which reaction. 

Therefore, you should assume that all facebook reactions are visible. With that said, you can change how reactions act on your own posts. 

By default, everyone can see your likes and reactions on your posts. However, you can edit this in the settings to hide it from others (or even turn it off completely). 

Furthermore, to do this, navigate to the settings on your Facebook page. Additionally, this can be done by clicking the three lines in the upper right corner of the app. 

Next, click settings & privacy. From there, you’ll need to navigate to News Feed Preferences. 

This section provides settings related to how you see your newsfeed (and how others see it). 

Therefore, scroll down until you see Reaction Preference. From here, you can change who sees any reactions on your post. 

Also, you can adjust if you see reactions to other people’s posts or your own posts. 

Furthermore, you can turn these options off to hide reactions completely. Even then, though, you will still be able to react to posts – you just won’t be able to see any other reactions. 

What Happens When You React to a Post on Facebook?

Facebook is always trying to fine-tune your newsfeed. Therefore, the algorithm will take your reactions into account (for both your newsfeed and the person who posted the content). 

Therefore, if you like a friend’s post, the company may show you more of that friend’s posts. 

Plus, the friend’s post may also get a bigger reach, as the algorithm will consider it more engaging.

Furthermore, as you’d expect, Facebook tries to show posts that are most engaging to a bigger audience. 

Additionally, when you like a company’s post, the effects are usually wider. So by making a connection with the company, Facebook may show you more of their content. 

Also, the company’s content will also be shown to your friends, along with the information that you liked it. 

Therefore, liking a company’s post increases the chance that the company is being advertised to your friends. 

Plus, your name will be used next to that company’s posts when shown to your friends.

To know more, you can also read our posts on Facebook Reach, Facebook Engagement Rating, and Facebook Workplace.


Facebook has allowed users to “like” content for a few years. However, the company recently upgraded this feature to include six different reactions on top of the older-like option. Now, you can be a bit more specific about how you feel about a post. 

Furthermore, reactions are rated higher on the system’s algorithm. Therefore, companies that prompt users to post reactions may have a higher engagement score, which will lead to their content being shown more often. 

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Mackenzie Jerks

Mackenzie is a freelance writer and editor, published author, and music enthusiast who holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. When she’s not writing, Mackenzie is either wrapped up in a book, discovering new music, or introducing herself to a new fitness regimen.

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