Like comments, reactions buttons are great for instant feedback. They can even increase user engagement, as long as they fall into line with the audience demand. In keeping with this idea, you may know that Facebook introduced their so-called Reactions in response to the request for a Dislike button. Can you spot it in the following collection of Reactions: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry?
If you want something done, do it yourself.Napoléon Bonaparte
Another social media platform – LinkedIn – had a different approach to decide upon their reactions. Specifically, they
analyzed the top 1-2 word comments being used1 and they
conducted global research with LinkedIn members to get feedback on the specific reactions to ensure they were universally understood and helpful1. As opposed to the former example, they listen closely to their audience before to come up with the following reactions:
Like – Celebrate – Love – Insightful – Curious
This is actually referred to as crowd voting, a category of crowdsourcing. This portmanteau of crowd and outsourcing is the practice of engaging a crowd (i.e. you) for a common goal. Crowdsourcing can actually take place on many different level; still,
one constant has been the broadcasting of problems to the public, and an open call for contributions to help solve the problem2.
- The practice whereby an organization enlists a variety of freelancers, paid or unpaid, to work on a specific task or problem.
Here I am, asking your opinion: what reaction buttons do you want?
As explained in Customizing the WordPress comment form, I strived for my comment section to be as useful and informative as possible for my readers. Accordingly, to spare my readers from going through the aforementioned
1-2 word comments1 (e.g. “Thank you”, “Well done”, “Great post”, “Helpful”), I decided to use a reaction plugin. To make a long story short, among the many plugins available (back then) I opted for a plugin with text buttons (rather than emoji), namely React & Share – Custumizable Reaction Buttons.
Unfortunately, this freemium plugin was recently discontinued (see React & Share – two-week notice!). I found a substitute4 in the Reaction Buttons plugin (by Jakob Lenfers). Of note, unlike the former plugin, this one comes with the possibility to have as many buttons as you want (i.e. not limited to four buttons). What a perfect opportunity to revamp my own reactions!
As briefly alluded, there is no restriction as to the number of buttons; still, I believe that no more than five is a good frame. Ideally, they should be mutually exclusive, a good example being “Satisfied” and “Unsatisfied”. Admittedly, this will become more challenging with more buttons. Importantly, they should not be limited to positive feedback. Negative reactions matter as well, as long as they are not opening the possibility of trolls5. Last, but not least, the primary purpose of these buttons is to provide a quick way for readers to leave their quick comments (e.g. “Keep it up”, “Nice post”) somewhere else than in the comment section – not to express how they feel!
Here we are! What do you think will be the best labels for these buttons?
Help me tailoring these reaction buttons to meet your needs! Thank you.
1 Cissy Chen (2019) Introducing LinkedIn Reactions: More Ways to Express Yourself. LinkedIn. ^
2 See this Wikipedia article. ^
3 Crowdsourcing (2010) Oxford Dictionary of English – Third Edition. Oxford University Press. ^
4 As a temporary measure as explained in A reaction plugin 2: temporary measures. Anyway, this plugin (and hopefully the coming-soon alternative as well) allows having as many buttons as you wish; the five default being: Awesome – Interesting – Useful – Boring – Sucks. ^
5 In internet slang, a troll is either a provocative posting intended to incite an angry response or the person who submits such a posting. ^