The world's biggest social network says it is testing six new buttons to allow users to express a wider range of emotions than just 'like.' The announcement put to rest speculation a 'dislike' button was in the works.
However Facebook users feel about the company's decision to not introduce a "Dislike" button, at least they'll have a handful of emoticons to express themselves.
On Thursday, Facebook's product manager, Chris Cox, announced in a post on the social media site that the company was testing an expansion of its thumbs-up button.
For now, a trial of the new functionality will only take place in Ireland and Spain, giving Facebook users there the opportunity to respond to content in their news feeds by using a palette of animated emojis.
The new buttons are love, yay, haha, wow, angry and sad.
"We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them," Cox wrote in the post, which was accompanied by a video.
The new feature, which can be accessed by long-pressing the "Like" button, is being rolled out under the name Reactions. Facebook said the pilot would be for iOS, Android and desktops.
Cox didn't mention when the new buttons will be available for everyone, except to say that he hoped it would be "soon."
Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company wasn't interested in a "Dislike" button because it didn't want to "become a forum where people are voting up or down on people's posts."
According to an unscientific poll conducted by Deutsche Welle, half of all respondents had expected a "Dislike" button, while 28 percent said such a feature would encourage cyber bullying. Only 22 percent said they would rather see an "empathy" button.
cjc/hg (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)