Facebook has launched its long-anticipated emoji 'Reactions' feature and updated its trademark 'like' button.
First tested in October, Reactions is being rolled out globally from today (24 February) and will allow users to express various feelings, including love, anger and laughter, in scenarios where the blue 'thumbs up' icon won't suffice.
In a blog post the social behemoth said the new product was "an extension" of the like button, rather than a replacement, adding: "We’ve been listening to people and know that there should be more ways to easily and quickly express how something you see in News Feed makes you feel."
"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," said the company's product manager Sammi Krug.
Facebookers can try out the stickers on desktop and mobile by holding down or hovering over the like symbol, which will reveal the suite of emoticons.
Reactions will have the same impact on ad delivery as likes, and as with likes individuals 'reacting' to posts will be served similar content on their News Feed. The social network has said it wants to eventually boost the new product's targeting capabilities, and tailor posts to users by weighing the different emojis they've been using.
To create the new emojis, Facebook's product team asked an outside panel of around 1000 users to rate every story in their feed and offer feedback, and consulted with a range of sociologists about the "range of human emotion".