When Facebook first announced the new Reactions emojis, photos featured a “Yay” emoticon that showed an incredibly happy smiling face. But now that the Reactions have been rolled out, the “Yay” is mysteriously missing and we’re only left with Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry. What happened?
Here’s what you need to know.
People Didn’t Understand How to Use ‘Yay’
When Mark Zuckerberg announced the Reactions feature today, he said they were being implemented so people could express empathy and share a wider range of emotions. But he didn’t mention the missing “Yay”:
Facebook first started rolling out the Reactions buttons in October in Ireland and Spain. Facebook then expanded the test to Chile, the Philippines, Portugal, and Colombia, and finally Japan. Back then, the emojis included Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad, and Angry.
Facebook ultimately decided to drop “Yay” because people in the test markets just didn’t use those buttons much at all, according to Tech.co. As far as “yay” was concerned, people didn’t use it because they couldn’t really grasp its meaning or purpose, CNN reported. The problem was that it didn’t stand out well enough from “wow” or “love,” Wired reported. Although it was celebratory, it also conveyed the other positive emotions and ultimately wasn’t used very frequently. Part of the problem may have been that Facebook wanted emojis that were understood globally, across every market and various cultures, International Business Times reported.
Facebook Tested Other Reaction Options, Like ‘Confused’
Before the six buttons were rolled out, Facebook had compiled the most frequent responses to posts, whether written or through emojis or stickers. Responses such as “haha” or “lol” went into a laughter category, while GIFs of beating hearts went into a love category, Bloomberg reported. Then they further reduced these to six categories. But before we had the final six, Facebook was looking into a few other options.
At one point, according to Tech.co, Facebook tested a “Confused” button, but users didn’t really like that option and seldom used it. Facebook also tried tons of different designs, Wired reported. One of the suggested but ultimately rejected Reaction Buttons included an emoticon smiley star. Other emoticons that were considered included fear, curiosity, admiration, awe, and relief.
The dislike button, which is what users have been asking to have for years, likely won’t ever be added. Facebook is concerned this would create too much negativity.