Meet April Reign, The Activist Who Created #OscarsSoWhite

 

“#OscarsSoWhite they asked to touch my hair.”

 

That was the first tweet April Reign said she sent last year after the list for the 2015 Oscar nominees highlighted a roster that was overwhelmingly white.

 

Reign — a writer, editor and former lawyer who lives in Washington, D.C. — said she initially created the hashtag to mock the lack of diversity at the award show. But almost immediately, users adopted it to call out the show in their own way and highlight the need for more inclusion of stars of color.

 
 
 

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Within days, #OscarsSoWhite took on a life of its own. It flooded timelines, headlines and stories for weeks.

 

And when this year’s list of nominees failed to show any improvement among its acting categories, #OscarsSoWhite resurfaced for round two — and it was as resounding as ever.

 

“The response this year was so much more than last year,” Reign told The Huffington Post. “My hypothesis is that one time is a fluke and two times is the beginning of a pattern — that’s when people latched on.”

 

The calls for diversity were echoed by actors, activists, producers and moviegoers in the U.S. and abroad. Film creatives called for inclusion from Germany, London, New Zealand and South America, among other places.

 

“They are standing up and saying hey, this is a problem in our country too,” Reign said.

 
 

One time is a fluke and two times is the beginning of a pattern.”

 

April Reign

 
 
 

The hashtag transformed into a movement fighting for fair representation and recognition of people of color in film — a mission many critics, who accused Reign of condemning those stars who were nominated, seemed to miss.

 

“It’s not about saying who is snubbed and who should have been nominated, it’s about opening the discussion more on how the decisions were made, who was cast and who tells the story behind the camera,” Reign said. “My goal was just to have the conversation and push the dialogue further.”

 

Reign, who originally joined Twitter in 2010 and has been active on the platform since, has always used it to voice her opinions, spark discussions and challenge others to debates around inclusion and diversity. These are all things she had experience doing after practicing law for nearly 20 years. But there came a time where Reign was no longer stimulated or satisfied with her career in campaign law. 

 

“There was no imagination or creativity involved,” she said — so left the courtroom altogether and instead spoke to more people through more public platforms in media. 

 

Reign eventually became the managing editor of BroadwayBlack.com and the editor-at-large at Nu Tribe magazine, separate platforms that both speak to people of color and celebrates their achievements. 

 

“I leaped; it felt right,” she said. “I worked until I found what really made me happy and being in this space and dealing with issues of entertainment and race makes me happy.”  

 
 

#OscarsSoWhite isn’t the first time Reign was able to create change on Twitter. In early 2014, she sent a series of tweets speaking out against a boxing match that was scheduled to take place between rapper DMX and George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin.

 

“I thought it was a really bad idea,” Reign said.

 

She created the hashtag #StopTheFight and encouraged people to sign a petition to end the match. She was successful.

 

“Eventually the promoter, Damon Feldman, called me and had a conversation and he ultimately decided to cancel it,” she said.

 

Reign said she was gratified by the experience and she has since held a strong presence online talking about a range of topics  — everything from entertainment, to politics, to racial and gender representation.

 

But publicly sharing her thoughts has also created an opening for trolls on Twitter who criticized her calls for equality and claimed she was racist, Reign said. 

 

“You can’t be a racist because you’re giving factual information. You can’t be racist if you don’t have control of the system from which racism emanates,” she said. “People who would critique the hashtag typically have done no research whatsoever either about what I’m saying or the factual issues I’m addressing.”

 

And the most important platform that should consider Reign’s agenda — the academy itself — has done so. In January, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced changes and pledged to diversify its membership by 2020. This came as a result of Reign’s widespread efforts online and the powerful protests they led to — both among celebrities and everyday citizens.

 

“It’s a good first step, it’s the most significant change they’ve made in decades — if not ever,” Reign said in response to the changes. “I’m gratified by that and will keep pushing.” 

 
 

Members of the academy aren’t the only ones responsible for the lack of representation and recognition of actors of color. The fault also lies with Hollywood executives, who are mostly white men who have failed to prioritize color-conscious casting in their films.

 

“The onus has to be with the studio executives as they’re sitting around the board room and deciding which films are greenlit and who is cast to tell the story both in front of and behind the camera,” Reign said.

 

The issue of representation touches Reign personally. Her name has largely gone ignored in the larger discussion and media coverage around #OscarsSoWhite. As the hashtag’s creator, Reign rightfully deserves recognition, and while she does not actively seek it, many outlets have been guilty of not giving her credit when it’s due.

 

“I’m not looking for the recognition because the changes that have been made could not have been made without millions of people of color speaking out about the issue using the hashtag,” she said. “But at the same time, we talk so much about women of color being erased — it’s ironic that I’m talking to media about my erasure.”

 

Reign’s commitment to speaking up and taking action against systems of power that widely exclude people of color is admirable. Her words are powerful and her message is moving. If we are to live in a more inclusive society, she says, it’s a mission we must all uphold, not just now but for generations to come. 

 

“Representation matters to me because my children should be able to move freely in the world without thought of how someone else’s bias may affect them,” she said. “Because my kids should be able to see themselves up on a screen and should know that their stories are just as important as anyone else’s.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

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Proof phones are the future of VR, IoT, and all the other cool tech you’re waiting for

future phone


The annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona just wrapped up, and it has arguably become more important than even the giant Consumer Electronics Show in terms of indicating where technology is headed. Despite highlighting many different trends — and focusing especially on virtual reality — the bottom line at the conference seemed to be that, at least for the foreseeable future, it’s our phones that are going to be the biggest factor in bringing us all of the big innovations we’re eyeing.

 

Here’s a rundown of this year’s big Mobile World Congress trends:

 

1. Virtual Reality. We have to start here, because the show did, with Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg striding past rows of headset-wearing audience members in what is sure to become an iconic (some called it “creepy”) photo. In his show-opening keynote speech, Zuckerberg touted VR as the future for his company, now one of the world’s most valuable.

 

Facebook already has streamed more than 1 million hours of VR video, Zuckerberg said. And that was just through the Gear VR, the viewing headset Facebook’s Oculus VR division developed with Samsung that uses a mobile phone to display its content. Google, by the way, said during the show that another 350,000 hours have been watched using its low-cost Cardboard viewer.

 

Some of  the VR hardware that’s starting to hit the market will require hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of equipment and connected PCs. But other headsets, like the Gear VR and Cardboard, use a mobile device at their heart. For most people, most of the time, using their mobile device and inexpensive headsets like these will be how they experience VR for the near term at the very least. Mobile video will drive the early days of whatever revolution VR causes.

 

2. 360 Video. Zuckerberg also touted 360 video, which provides an immersive, wraparound experience without requiring a special headset or technologies beyond, yes, your smart phone. Because of that, it could be even bigger than VR, at least in the short term, and at far less cost.

 

We’re already starting to see some interesting projects pop up here, including a just-announced project by Justine Ezarik, a particularly tech-savvy YouTube star better known by her nom de web, iJustine. Expect way more of these projects as other online-video stars experiment with the technology and the form and bring their millions of mobile-wielding audience members along.

 

3. 5G. Next-generation high-speed networks promise many, many things, and all of them are about making that little handset in your pocket a much faster, much more connected, and much more powerful dashboard to your life. Lots of work needs to be done before 5G fully arrives, but here are some of what it promises:

 
 
    •  

      You’ll be able to download entire movies in 5 seconds. Entertainment on your handset becomes a liquid experience. The download was already mostly dead, and streaming services were taking off, but now they’ll be superpowered, as will related interactive experiences. How will that change entertainment?

       
 
    •  

      Your phone will connect and manage millions of sensors everywhere. This is mostly about the Internet of Things (see below); but again, the mobile device becomes the dashboard interacting with a broadly connected world in real time.

       
 
    •  

      5G will power autonomous (driverless) vehicles. To have vehicles that are both extremely safe and need little human interaction, high-speed networks will be vital. One could call 5G-connected autonomous vehicles able to quickly download entertainment and news the ultimate mobile device.

       
 
 

5. IoT. Sensors will be in all kinds of devices and interacting in all kinds of ways with your phone, which will be the central controller for our automated, connected life of the future. To help pay for that, we likely can expect sponsored or ad-supported experiences in our car’s entertainment center, but also many other places. Maybe it will be in the bathroom, where sensors can monitor key health indicators (your weight is creeping up; here’s a deal at the closest gym), and even on the refrigerator (Hey, we noticed you’re out of Oreos, but maybe you’d like this Hydrox coupon added to your next Amazon Pantry order?). We’re already seeing bits of this, like Red Bull connecting sensors in the coolers that display its products to ensure they’re kept at the right temperature for customers.

 

These trends all suggest that as powerful as our mobile devices have become in a shockingly short time (just try to remember what phones were like even 15 years ago), they are poised to become even more to our lives, for new kinds of entertainment, health, finance, security, mobility, and other services and experiences.

 

Frank Sinton is CEO of Beachfront Media, a video platform for publishers, advertisers, and enterprises. Previously, he worked for Sony Pictures Entertainment as Executive Director of Architecture.

 
 

 

 
mwc2

Deliver Exceptionally Responsive Customer Support: Introducing Respond by Buffer

As social media has evolved, our use of social networks has changed: We’ve found new ways to use Twitter, Facebook, and more to share, to communicate, to talk about our favorite things.

 

We engage more than ever with brands and businesses – brands and business like you and yours!

 

At Buffer, we’ve been fortunate to have a front row seat to watch this evolution of social media for businesses, as it’s expanded from an engaging channel for marketing and community into many new channels, including one that’s especially near and dear to us: customer service.

 

And we’re so excited to share with you: Today marks the public release of our brand new customer service tool, Respond!

 

Respond button

 

We’d love for you to be among the first to experience the real-time support experience with Respond. Click above to get started right away, and continue reading for the full story behind the product and all the unique ways that Respond supports you and your audience!

 

 

 

Respond public launch

 

How to Get the Most From Respond for Customer Support

 

Having been big fans of the Respondly product before the acquisition and now daily users of Respond over the past three months, we’ve had the great opportunity to experience Respond’s benefits first-hand in how it helps us support our community.

 

Here are some of our most-loved parts about Respond.

 

 

Respond displays your community’s tweets in a real-time tweet inbox. The list of new messages—both tweets and DMs—runs down the left column. Each particular message opens into the panel on the right.

 

This intuitive layout gives the Twitter stream an inbox feel where you can reply, archive, keep track of conversations, and—excitedly—reach inbox zero!

 

dashboard@2x

 

From the message panel, you can perform every significant action you may need to assist, engage, and support the person you’re chatting with. In Respond, you can:

 
 
    • Reply
 
    • Like
 
    • Follow
 
    • Archive
 
 

peakshot-1@2x

 

You can also tag a conversation for Follow Up — if you need to hunt down an answer maybe, or if you’d love to circle back on a conversation later to see how things sorted out — and you’ll receive a reminder later on at whatever custom timeframe you’ve set.

 

(One of my favorite features is the semantic followup instructions: If you tell Respond to remind you “tomorrow,” it’ll know precisely what you mean!)

 

For tracking all the important conversations that matter to you, chances are you might want to stay on top of keywords, phrases, or hashtags, too. Respond includes custom search queries so that all the results from these searches appear in real-time alongside your tweets.

 

peakshot-3@2x

 

Respond was built for teams—and tested by teams! Some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley use it for Twitter support, including Slack, WordPress, Product Hunt, and Stripe. With this in mind, we’ve done our best to build out team features that we feel will make a world of difference to working effectively and efficiently together.

 
 
    • Team signatures
 
    • Double-reply prevention
 
    • Assign conversations
 
 

Oh, and Respond integrates with Slack! Woop!

 

Respond button

 

Respond for individuals and Respond for teams

 

One of the really interesting discussions we’ve had here during the launch planning is thinking about what Respond does best: Is it a customer service tool or is it a social monitoring tool?

 

Why not both!

 

We’ve found that users tend to find great value from Respond, using it in either way. Our product roadmap is looking to support both paths also, with an initial focus on making Respond a perfect experience for teams.

 

We’d love for everyone to be able to try Respond! We’re happy to offer two different pricing plans at launch:

 
 
    1. The Free plan for individuals
 
    1. The Pro plan for teams – $39 per user per month
 
 

There’s a neat checklist of what each plan includes here, if you’re interested in seeing more.

 

In addition to these two plans, we’re looking into ways to best support Enterprise customers as well, and we’d love to chat further with you if this feels like it might be you.

 

Additional FAQs

 

What social networks does Respond work with?

 

We’re really excited to offer a full support experience for Twitter, and we’re currently exploring how Respond might fit with other networks, Facebook being chief among them!

 

Is there a free trial?

 

No, we don’t have a free trial at the moment. We’re hoping you might get a great taste for the simplicity and benefits of Respond with the Free plan. If there’s any additional detail we can pass along about the Pro plan features, we’d be very happy to!

 

Can I get to Respond from my Buffer dashboard?

 

Great question! At the moment, the two products are separate from one another, and each can be accessed from its own URL – https://buffer.com for Buffer and https://respond.buffer.com for Respond.

 

Is Respond integrated into Buffer? Will it be?

 

For now, we’ve chosen to keep Buffer and Respond as separate products. Would love any of your thoughts on that!

 

 

How Respond came to be: The full story, from acquisition to launch

 

Respond has been an incredible, whirlwind product experience for us at Buffer, from acquiring the customer service tool Respondly in December (big thanks to Tim and the Respondly team!), to onboarding private beta testers in January, to the public beta release today.

 

We’re couldn’t be more thrilled for the chance to include Respond among the Buffer family of products.

 

On the day of the acquisition announcement, we shared this vision for the future of Buffer:

 

In the long run, what we hope to build at Buffer is the essential social media tool. Our goal: No matter how many other great tools (and there are many!) you might want to use, we hope Buffer is a key part of your mix to deliver great experiences and results on social media.

 

Respond feels like a natural fit with this purpose. In addition to building Buffer as the premier marketing tool for you to manage your social media, we’re also hoping for Respond to become the premier tool for you and your customer service team.

 

Since the acquisition announcement, we’ve been working with a clear focus of making Respond a must-have, standalone tool for delivering exceptional support experiences. It’s an amazing journey we’re embarked upon and are excited to continue.

 
 
    • We’ve learned a ton from experiences like #bufferchat and how Respond can best scale to handle over 3,000 tweets in an hour — we’re grateful for the chance to keep improving there!
 
    • We’ve given early access to some incredible companies like Slack, Product Hunt, and WordPress, and learned from how they support their audiences of millions
 
    • We’ve checked in with Respond’s 18,000 beta signups to make sure we’re building the best Respond possible
 
 

What we’re excited to release today is a premier, standalone tool to help you reach out to your customers, reply to their questions, monitor what’s being said about you and do so in a fast and reliable way to deliver a great experience for your community.

 

Respond is a social-first support experience. We want you to feel empowered to dive into conversations and questions in real-time, so we built the dashboard and interface with speed, interactivity, and engagement in mind. Instead of ticket numbers or wait times, Respond is all about what your customers need right now and helping you deliver ultra-responsive support.

 

We feel this helps set apart Respond in a really unique way and that the timing of a tool like this couldn’t be better. In particular, the timing with Respond seems to have felt quite ideal for a number of reasons:

 

1. How Respond helps us set the standard for customer support

 

At Buffer, it has been our stated mission to:

 

Build the simplest, most powerful social media tool on the market and to set the standard for customer support.

 

During the very first days of Buffer in the fall of 2010, our co-founder Joel started delivering happiness, answering questions on Twitter, and proactively reaching out to new customers. Customer service has been part of Buffer’s DNA ever since, and it feels incredible to now have a product that supports this mission.

 

Respond also happens to be the product that helps us achieve our vision for support. We use Respond on a daily basis, helping us connect and assist our awesome Twitter audience of more than 485,000.

 

How huge has support been for us? (And Respond in particular.) Here’re some numbers:

 
 
    • We have a team of 21 people who work exclusively on delivering happiness to customers.
 
    • We aim to answer emails and tweets within 60 minutes.
 
    • We respond to 350 emails and 300 tweets per day. (During our busiest times we’re fortunate to start a new Twitter conversation every minute!)
 
    • We send 170 outreach messages per day to people who are interested in Buffer
 
 

With Respond, we want everyone to feel capable of doing great support on social media. Having the right tool can feel a bit like having a super power! This has been the case for us with Respond, and we’re delighted to let you in on the fun as well.

 

2. A social media strategy now involves more than marketing

 

Did you know: Only 20% of top retailers answer customer questions on Twitter. Kudos to that 20% because they are doing it right! People—customers—are using social media in more ways than before, and with that boost in use comes a whole host of expectations, conversations, and opportunities.

 

14286

 

 

 

It’s no longer enough just to post consistently (though that’s still a huge difference-maker!).

 

We feel that today’s social media strategy requires more, starting with a way to respond to the people who’re reaching out.

 

From what we’ve seen, Facebook and Twitter are more than just marketing channels. They are engagement channels. Here’s another amazing stat: Over 80% of inbound social customer service requests happen on Twitter. That’s a huge percentage of your audience looking to connect with you on social!

 

We’ve found that you can engage to a certain degree with your marketing strategies. We believe that you can engage even further with a social-first support plan, too.

 

3. As the Buffer team grows, so do the opportunities

 

When Buffer started five years ago, social media looked a lot different. Facebook and Twitter were private companies, yet to have their IPOs. Neither was as fully embedded into society and culture the way they are today.

 

A lot has changed for social media, and a lot has changed for Buffer.

 

We started as a team of two, Joel and Leo, and we’re now a team of 80. In the past six months, we’ve doubled in size, adding 40 new team members (and keen to hire still more!).

 

And as the team has grown, we’ve felt confident that we can build out an amazing product experience not only for the Buffer product, but also for new areas like our image creation tool Pablo and, now, with Respond.

 

We’re grateful for the chance to have a full team—product, engineers, data, customer development, support—solely focused on delivering a great experience for you with Respond.

 

What’s next for Respond …

 

We’re building toward a tool that is great for everyone: teams, individuals, personal brands, and more. And certainly would love to welcome all types of users and teams to try Respond and see how the fit feels. (We’d love any feedback and input from you as well!)

 

We know that big companies have certain needs also, and we’re building out enterprise options at the moment. If that feels like you, definitely drop us a line and we’d love to chat!

 

Respond button

 

Thanks so much for the chance to serve you and your support team.

 

Happy Responding!

 

Image sources: Pablo, Placeit

 

The post Deliver Exceptionally Responsive Customer Support: Introducing Respond by Buffer appeared first on Social.

 

Russia says there is no ‘plan B’ for Syria — but its airstrikes tell a different story

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev (L) looks at President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with the BRICS countries' senior officials in charge of security matters at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, May 26, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei KarpukhinThomson Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Thursday that there is no “plan B” on Syria’s ceasefire agreement and will not be one, according to Reuters.

 

His comments echoed those of Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who said at a conference in Moscow that Russian officials are “perplexed by our Western partners, the US included, mentioning the existence of some kind of ‘plan B.’ Nothing is known on that one. We are considering no alternative plans.”

 

The Russian officials’ comments come two days after US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the US was considering alternative options should ‘plan A’ — a cessation of hostilities — fail to materialize.

 

“It may be too late to keep it as a whole Syria if we wait much longer,” Kerry told the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.

 

Some analysts saw Kerry’s comments as a subtle endorsement of partitioning Syria among Assad, Sunni rebels, and Syrian Kurds (and the terror group ISIS, if the international coalition is unable to defeat them in the country’s east.)

 

Kerry did not explicitly advocate this solution, and Russian officials said Moscow would not accept anything other than a political settlement. 

 

But some experts said Russian President Vladimir Putin would be content with a partition — and that Russia’s pattern of airstrikes in Syria indicate that it is already preparing a “plan B” should the regime fail to restore a central Syrian state and be forced to retreat to a fragment of government-held territory along the Mediterranean.

 

“A second option [for Russia] is to fall back to the defensible parts of useful Syria after guaranteeing the safety of the Alawi canton,” Joseph Bahout, a visiting scholar in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote in December in Carnegie’s “Syria in Crisis” blog.

 

“This is perhaps already a consideration, as the majority of Russian airstrikes concentrate on the contours of this area,” he added.

 

russianairstrikessyriaThomson Reuters

 

Bahout’s observation was true in December. And, though the slopes of some battlefields — most notably in Syria’s second-largest city of Aleppo — have shifted over the past two months, it is true now.

 

Since intervening on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in late September, Russia has used airstrikes to create a buffer zone between rebel-held territory in the southern Idlib province and the traditional homeland of the Assads’ Alawite sect in the Latakia governorate.

 

The airstrikes have also targeted rebel-controlled territory just north of Homs that borders this so-called Alawi canton. 

 

An “Assadland” or “Alawistan” has arguably always been the Assad regime’s “final card to play.”

 

Tony Badran, a researcher at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies focusing on the military and political affairs of the Levant, predicted as much back in 2012, one year after the war erupted in earnest.

 

To be sure, Assad’s Syrian Arab Army (SAA) — backed by by Iran-backed Shi’ite militias, Hezbollah fighters, and Russian air cover — is still battling to retain control over the two most symbolically and strategically important cities in Syria. Those are Damascus, the capital — which has been long viewed by rebel forces as the key to winning the war — and Aleppo, Syria’s second-largest city and main urban center in the north.

 

Civil defence members search for survivors after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in the rebel held al-Qaterji neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria February 14, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman IsmailThomson ReutersBut even if the regime were to drive the rebels out of Aleppo and Damascus, holding the cities would require a significant commitment of funding and manpower. It remains unlikely, moreover, that Assad will ever be able to re-assert his authority on the predominantly Sunni country. That is at least one reason why experts and analysts say that the war cannot end as long as Assad is in power.

 

That said, Russia has yet to signal that it would accept a Syria devoid of Assad’s influence — doing so would be akin to accepting defeat by US-backed rebels and western proxies, whose influence Moscow is eager to supplant in the region.

 

Solidifying a Russian “protectorate” in western Syria that is already held by the regime and dominated by a sect of Shia Islam loyal to the Assads, then, would give “a tangible reality to Moscow’s concept of a new international order.”

 

That’s according to Marc Pierini, a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe and a former EU ambassador, who wrote in Turkey’s English-language newspaper Hurriyet in September.

 

“To its snap annexation of Crimea and dominance of eastern Ukraine, Russia is now adding ‘Assadland,'” Pierini wrote. In doing so, it is showing the rest of the world that it has the capacity to redefine the international order, or at least the guts to act as spoiler in chief.”

 

U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet at the United Nations General Assembly in New York September 28, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueThomson ReutersMark Galeotti, a Russia expert and professor of global affairs at New York University, agreed that while an “Assadland” or “Alawistan” would not be the Kremlin’s first choice, it is “an acceptable lesser of many evils” for Russia.

 

“It is not that Moscow would be happy with an Alawite statelet, but it is obviously and inevitably thinking of fallback options should it not get its ideal, which is an outright victory for Damascus,” Galeotti told Business Insider in December.

 

“A defensible, economically viable and politically more homogeneous ‘Alawistan’ would both ensure they retain a client-ally in the region and yet also be a much more manageable unit to have to support and project.”

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Facebook Reactions: Meet Facebook’s New Supercharged ‘Like’ Button

Your Facebook newsfeed is about to get a whole lot more meaningful.

 

After nearly a year of testing in various markets around the globe, Facebook has now released their new, supercharged ‘like’ button.

 

For the first time, Facebook users globally can now react to status with more than just a thumbs up. Facebook Reactions enable you to express yourself with five additional emojis, alongside a “like.”

 

The new Reactions are: ‘love,’ ‘haha,’ ‘wow,’ ‘sad,’ and ‘angry.’

 

emojis

 

Curious to learn more about this change? Let’s dive in.

 

 

 

fb-reactions-head

 

About the change

 

Reactions, is an extension of the Like button, to give you more ways to express your feelings towards a post in a quick and easy way.

 

To add a Reaction, hold down the Like button on mobile or hover over the Like button on desktop to see the Reaction image options, then tap either Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry.

 

Here’s how the hover works on desktop:

 

Fb-reactions

 

And on mobile:

 
 

fb-reactions-mobile

 

 

On the process of rolling out this change, Facebook product manager, Sammi Krug explains:

 

We understand that this is a big change, and want to be thoughtful about rolling this out. For more than a year we have been conducting global research including focus groups and surveys to determine what types of reactions people would want to use most. We also looked at how people are already commenting on posts and the top stickers and emoticons as signals for the types of reactions people are already using to determine which reactions to offer.

 

Even though there are now five extra ways to react to a status, the ‘like’ still holds to number one spot.

 

As you scroll through your Newsfeed, you’ll still the ‘Like’ call to action on every post. Now though, instead of telling you how many people “Liked’ something, Facebook tells you how many people “reacted.” 

 

During the testing period, Facebook learned a great deal about how people would like to react to the content in their feed.

 

Originally, “yay” was also included as a Reaction, but Facebook discovered that “yay” could also convey other positive emotions such as “love” and “haha, and the data showed it was used much less in testing that the other Reactions. As such, “yay” was removed.

 

Given the long-lasting rumours of a “Dislike” button, this update feels like something Facebook users have been longing after for a while.

 

Facebook is used to share an emotional range of posts, and often, a “like” wasn’t entirely fitting to every post you wanted to react to. Mark Zuckerberg shared his thoughts on this topic as rumours of a “Dislike” button started to circle in 2015:

 

Over the years of people asking for this, what we kind of have come to understand is that people aren’t looking for an ability to down vote other people’s posts, what they really want is to be able to express empathy.

 

Not every moment is a good moment and if you are sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events, like the refugees crisis that touches you or if a family member passed away, then it may not feel comfortable to ‘like’ that post. But your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand and that they relate to you, so I do think it’s important to give people more options.

 

With Reactions being rolled out across both individual and business pages, this feels like an excellent opportunity to dive into what Facebook Reactions could mean for anyone running a brand page.

 

What Reactions could mean for brands

 

It certainly feels like Reactions could be a significant update for brands on Facebook.

 

Just hours after Facebook Reactions were released globally, Chevrolet became the first brands to incorporate the ‘like’ button extension into one of their advertising campaigns.

 

The one minute video, posted on Chevrolet’s Facebook page, allows customers to display their ‘love’ for the latest Chevrolet release. Check out the video below:

 
 

 

 
 

Like the all-new 2016 Malibu? More like Love. http://s.chevy.com/moV

 

Posted by Chevrolet on Wednesday, 24 February 2016

 
 
 

 

 

3 ways Facebook Reactions could affect brands

 

1. New ways to measure sentiment

 

Reactions will offer a new way to measure sentiment and gauge exactly how an audience is reacting to your Page’s content or a sponsored post. 

 

“Reactions gives businesses a really crisp way of understanding on a multi-dimensional level how people are feeling about the things that they’re posting,” Richard Sim, Facebook’s director of monetization product marketing, explained to AdAge.

 

This update will also bring a refresh to Facebook insights, with brands able to see Reaction counts within Facebook’s page insights tool.

 

2. Better understanding of customers

 

Previously, Facebook users had a few options if they saw a piece of brand content in their news feed:

 
 
    1. Ignore it
 
    1. Like it
 
    1. Share it (if they really love it)
 
    1. Comment on it (either positively or negatively)
 
 

Reactions open up multiple new ways for users to share their feelings towards content.

 

For example, if you’re seeing a lot of haha Reactions it may become clear that your audience finds your content amusing – this is context you previously wouldn’t find with the “like” only button.

 

3. A decrease in comments

 

Reactions is designed to make it easier for users to react to posts without having to type a comment.

 

Comments have always been a way to keep an eye on how your audience have reacted to a post and qualitatively measure performance. With this update, I could see a sharp decrease in comments as Reactions will provide users with more ways to convey their feelings without having to type and leave a comment.

 

With this update, I could see a sharp decrease in comments as Reactions will provide users with more ways to convey their feelings without having to type and leave a comment. This may also lead to more quantitive ways to measure user emotions through data.

 

Could Reactions eventually factor into the news feed algorithm?

 

Facebook is always looking for new ways to improve their news feed algorithm and speaking to AdAge, Richard Sim explained:

 

“Over time we do expect to have a better understanding of how these different Reactions impact what people want to see in their news feed. So it’s very possible that loves or hahas may be treated differently. We’re going to learn this as we’re going through testing.”

 

Could we see Reactions factored into the algorithm in the future? Maybe, but I wouldn’t expect it to happen anytime soon. I fully expect Facebook to be meticulous with the data here and fully test any updates before rolling them out to the news feed algorithm.

 

Over to you

 

Thanks for reading! I’m super excited about the update and can’t wait to dig into the Facebook insights data for our Buffer page.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this update. What do you think about Reactions? How can you see this update affecting brands on Facebook?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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