Irish Facebook users first in the world to test 'like' alternatives

A sample of the new 'reactions'
A sample of the new 'reactions'

Irish Facebook users are to be among some of the first people on the planet to have access to Facebook's new 'like' alternatives.

Facebook is set to launch a new ‘reactions’ feature that lets users express emotions such as sadness or anger, rather than simply ‘liking’ a post. 

And its testing ground is Ireland and Spain. From tomorrow, users in these countries will have access to six 'reactions'. 

Gareth Lambe, head of Facebook in Ireland, said: "It's exciting that Ireland's Facebook community will be one of the first to participate in testing these new ways to express reactions.

"With over two million Irish people actively logging onto Facebook every day, they'll now have more ways to show how they feel - whether that's happy, sad, funny or thought-provoking."

A spokesperson said the new options will be available to Irish users from Friday. 

"Reactions" will be available to all Facebook users in Ireland, across all platforms, from tomorrow.

"People come to Facebook to share all kinds of things – whether that's updates that are happy, sad, funny or thought-provoking," a spokesman said.

"And we've heard you'd like more ways to celebrate, commiserate or laugh together. That's why we are testing Reactions, an extension of the Like button, to give you more ways to share your reaction to a Facebook post in a quick and easy way."

The move comes following Mark Zuckerberg's announcement Facebook was working on an alternative to the 'like' button. 

"We're working on it and are very close to shipping a test of it," he said at the time. 

"We didn't want to just build a dislike button because we don't want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people's posts. That doesn't seem like the kind of community we want to create."