The Facebook Emojis We Wish We Had

Ever since the introduction of the “like” back in February 2009, Facebook users have been clamoring for a new way to react to friends’ posts, photos and status updates. For seven years, the Facebook “like” was the only way to react to someone’s post (without actually writing a comment), which left many users conflicted over the ethics of “liking” that status about grandma’s death or little Timmy’s broken arm.

That all changed on Feb. 24, 2016 when Facebook rolled out with a slew of new emoji digital reactions. The five new emojis — “love,” “haha,” “wow,” “sad” and “angry” — give Facebook users and digital marketing companies alike something to celebrate; in addition to giving users more freedom of expression, the emojis give Facebook & affiliates rather detailed information about user likes and dislikes.

Not everyone is happy about Facebook’s new emojis, however. The very day the update went live, comic artist Matthew Inman — better known for his page The Oatmeal — had already come up with a list of satirical new emojis for the social network, with reactions ranging from “meh” to “I just threw up in my mouth” and “I read this while pooping.”

In an interesting turn of events — or clever marketing ploy — anonymous programmers have come up with browser extensions intended to change the innocuous emojis into Pokémon or various images of spray-tanned American tycoon Donald Trump.

These so-called Reaction Packs open the lid to a Pandora’s box full of possibilities: from Studio Ghibli’s Soot Sprite reactions (which are already available) to Disney characters or SpongeBob reactions, the opportunities are endless.

This is good news for both digital marketing companies and trademarked character enthusiasts alike; not only can marketing companies gather data from the use of Facebook’s existing emojis, they may be able to incorporate brand-specific Facebook emojis to accompany a movie or product campaign, a la Twitter’s current hashtag emoji options.

Facebook’s new emoji reactions have only been live for a couple of weeks, and their future is as of yet uncertain. One thing’s for sure, though: there will never, ever be a Facebook “dislike” button. Sorry guys.