Desktop Facebook Messenger Gets Experimental Reactions

March 6, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

Facebook started testing experimental Reactions in Messenger as some users are reporting they’ve recently started seeing the option to react to individual messages within the app. The new Reactions feature of Messenger is seemingly taken directly from the main Facebook app with the exception of boasting an additional option to dislike a comment. Initial reports suggest that the feature is only live for some users of the browser version of Messenger. It’s still unclear whether the test will be extended to the Messenger Android app but more information will hopefully be available shortly.

Regardless, as shown in the gallery below, users who are a part of the test can access the new feature by hovering over any message and tapping the emoji icon that appears next to it. This will open a small window from which you’ll be able to choose the same Reactions you can already attach to a News Feed post, and also post a thumbs-down reaction. Facebook told TechCrunch that the feature is currently a small test designed to experiment with ways in which Messenger can be more engaging and entertaining. However, the Menlo Park-based social media giant highlighted how the new reaction isn’t meant to be understood as a dislike but a simple “no.” As expected, the person who sent the original message will always see any attached reactions and the same goes for any other user participating in the conversation.

Facebook confirmed that the feature may roll out to more users in the future if the initial test receives positive feedback from the user base. Despite the fact that the company says the thumbs-down reactions is not a dislike, its inclusion in this experimental Messenger feature marks an important departure from Facebook’s previous stance on the matter seeing how the company repeatedly refused to include a dislike button into its social media service as it was afraid such a feature would bring a lot of negativity to the network. Facebook debuted the original Reactions feature in early 2016 and has been tweaking the functionality ever since, often offering temporary reactions on some special occasions like Mother’s Day and Halloween.