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Buzzfeed vs. Facebook: the ultimate showdown in reaction buttons!

Both Facebook’s reactions and Buzzfeed “your reaction?” offer another way to engage users, and allow them to share their thoughts outside of the standard comment systems.

As I mentioned in a previous post, finding these types of simple tools that allow users to easily respond, are becoming more and more important as many users are now accessing websites on mobile and are therefore less likely to type out a full comment to express their reaction.

Many of these websites are following suit of the highly successful emoji, in providing a quick and easy way for users to express themselves with just a click.


So which reaction tool does it best: Facebook’s or Buzzfeed’s


To find the answer I will write multiple posts comparing the various features that both offer.


For part 1 I will compare the most obvious feature Emojis vs. Text buttons?


But first…


The Contenders



In one corner we have Facebook Reactions:


Facebook reactions were recently released to a limited market (currently only Spain and Ireland). Facebook conceived reactions to add more options to the simple “like” system that is currently in place. Six emotional choices are offered:  love, laughter, yay, wow, sad, and angry.


In the other corner, Buzzfeed “Your reaction?”:

buzzfeed reaction

Buzzfeed “your reaction?” appears at the bottom of their content and prompts users to react based on 11 potential responses (<3, </3, OMG, WTF, FAIL, TRASHY, LOL, CUTE, EW, WIN, YAAASS). The choices are fun and reflect the Buzzfeed fun and young style.



Emoji vs. Text?

Facebook uses emojis accompanied by text and Buzzfeed, except for the heart icons, uses text buttons.


There are pros and cons of both types of systems.


Studies have shown that people react to emojis as they would a human face. Facebook emojis may therefore do a better job at mirroring users’ emotions then just text.


However, text is extremely important for adding a variety of different – and nuanced – emotions than the easily identified happy, sad, angry, etc. For instance, Buzzfeed’s “cute”, “win”, “lol” and “omg” might be difficult to distinguish using just Emojis. The benefit, but also one of the downsides, of emojis is the variety of interpretations it offers, that may be less confusing with text buttons.


Emojis also have a specific playful, young aesthetic that may be inappropriate for more serious sites who may opt for more professional text buttons instead.


Both reaction tools seem to offer a good balance between the two:

Facebook accompanies all their emoji buttons with text to help eliminate some of the ambiguity.

Buzzfeed is able to create a playfulness with their text buttons but keep match the aesthetic of the buzzfeed buttons by using text.




In conclusion, both text and emoji buttons have their benefits and it really depends mostly on the aesthetic of the site.


Therefore for round 1: Emojis vs. Text buttons I declare a



Stay tuned for part 2 where I will compare the mobile features of both.


What are your thought, are you team emoji or text buttons? Let me know in the comments or by clicking on one of the reactions below.


Also a special thank you to Thilas who came up with this idea for a post:

post idea blog