LinkedIn Rolls Out New Reactions to Posts
If you haven’t heard of Reactions yet, it’s the response tool in Facebook which gives users the opportunity to express far more than a simple Like when they appreciate a post. It seems like all the social media platforms are intent on copying each other’s best features these days, and that appears to be what’s happening with LinkedIn’s rollout of its own version of Facebook’s Reactions.
LinkedIn recently announced the official rollout of its version of Reactions, and the final product looks a bit different than it did while it was being tested and developed, but still looks very similar to the offering from Facebook. In the words of LinkedIn officials, this was a concession to all those users who had been clamoring for more expressive ways to respond to the various posts shared on the platform, which could indicate many more emotions besides a simple Like.
It is also partly a response to those users who wish to have a greater understanding of how their own posts are being appreciated by other users, including what they might have liked about the content. The Reactions tool is intended to allow all users to quickly communicate their interest more effectively about any given post, using constructive reactions to convey their feelings.
The floodgates are open
Several years ago, Facebook completely lifted the Stories idea from its rival platform Snapchat, and that seem to have opened the floodgates for borrowing and reproducing popular features among the social media platforms. It seems that whenever one of the social media giants observes a feature which gains popular usage and recognition on another site, they immediately begin drafting a version of their own which can suit their own needs and satisfy their users.
The history of copying among the various platforms probably goes back even further, to the time when Facebook originated its News Feed, and that was quickly snatched up and copied by the other social media platforms. No one even seems to bother trying to justify their outright lifting and copying of such features, and instead it seems to have become an accepted way of doing business.
The finished version of Reactions
The version of Reactions which is released to the public now is somewhat different than the version that was being tested back in November 2018. One of the most noticeable differences is that the heart emoji has completely replaced the graphic which displayed two people who were situated side-by-side. LinkedIn has also described in detail how it came about choosing its Reactions, which basically boils down to offering responses which are more or less equivalent to most to the most frequently used one or two word comments used on the platform.
It also developed Reactions intended to be appropriate for the kinds of posts which LinkedIn members were most frequently sharing. Surprisingly missing from all the possible Reactions is Love, which is not available as one of the main options, although it is displayed as an option under the label for Gratitude or Appreciation.
The categories of possible responses fell into five main groupings, from which the final emojis were selected. Those groupings included praise of achievement, things which excited curiosity or concern, gratitude or appreciation, approval or consent, or things which inspired admiration and respect. After all the testing and development, the final results from surveys conducted by LinkedIn actually fell very much in line with Facebook results, and that’s why the same basic emojis are being made available.
These may not cover every possible reaction you might have to a post, but one of them is probably fairly close, and you should certainly find something that conveys your real reaction better than a simple Like. Throughout the testing for Reactions, various images were experimented with, and the five which LinkedIn eventually settled on our Celebrate, Love, Insightful, Curious, and Like. Using any of these emojis, you’ll be able to quickly respond to posts encountered on LinkedIn, in the same way that you can comment on Facebook content. Given the fact that most LinkedIn users log onto the platform via a mobile app, it does seem to make sense to provide very simple responses which can easily be conveyed.
If it seems like all the social media platforms are slowly becoming similar to the point of having all the same features, that’s probably not far from the truth. It shouldn’t come as a surprise though, because the truth is that all the online habits exhibited by users are basically the same across all platforms, and it does make it easier to go from one of the other without having to adapt to a whole different environment. If you feel like you’re losing something because the platforms are becoming so similar, you’re not alone.
The rollout of Reactions will undoubtedly be embraced by most LinkedIn users, since practically everyone appreciates having extra choices to use when expressing themselves about content appearing on the platform. With these extra emojis being made available, users will be able to indicate their responses to posted material which may be closer to what they actually feel, rather than using the generic Like emoji.
Assuming that usage of Reactions encourages extra reading of content and allows users to more accurately convey their real reactions to reading a particular post, it should mean that LinkedIn users become more fully engaged with content they’re reading. That after all, was the whole purpose of LinkedIn rolling out Reactions to its audience, and with increased user engagement, that should result in increased numbers of daily active users for the platform.
Now the big question is about which new feature that appears on any of the social media platforms will capture the imagination of users, such that other platforms will want to quickly snatch it up. It seems there’s little doubt these days that whatever kind of exciting new tool or feature appears on one of the social media platforms, you can expect it to be appearing in some form or other on all the other sites as well.
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