Facebook users have been warned by Belgium Federal Police not to use the six emoji Reactions feature if they want to protect their privacy. According to Belgian police, Facebook can better target space to advertisers if the social media company can learn how you’re feeling at a specific moment-Reactions are the best way to get that information.
Early this year Facebook extended the Like button to give Facebook users more ways to react to posts- users can either show they Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry a post.
Belgium Federal police posted on its official website, titled Facebook, New Intrusion Into Your Privacy, that “Facebook never misses an opportunity to improve the collection of information about us”.
The post continues by arguing that Facebook is a marketing champion. “It now has a medium which allows it to measure our reactions to the publications of our friends or pages that we follow. And now, in addition to allowing you to express your feelings, those little icons will also help verify the effectiveness of advertisements that are present on your profile.
“Limiting them to six, Facebook account the fact that you express your thoughts more easily allowing the algorithms running in the background to target you. With your clicks, it will be possible to determine those contents that put you in a good mood.
“So that will help Facebook find the perfect location, on your profile, allowing it to display content that will arouse your curiosity but also to choose the time you present it. If it appears that you are in a good mood phase, so it can deduce that you are more receptive and able to sell spaces explaining advertisers that they will have more chance to see you react.”
A recent study by social media analytics company Quintly found that Reactions only account for 3 per cent of people’s interaction with posts. Check out the full study here.
The Reactions feature was in response to the push for a Dislike button. During a Q&A at the Facebook headquarters in California, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said a dislike button would be too negative for the platform. Zuckerberg said: “That’s not something that we think is good for the world.”
Last week, Facebook launched a temporary purple flower to celebrate Mother’s Day. The company said in a statement: “To celebrate Mother’s Day, we are testing the ability for people in a few markets to leave a flower reaction.”
B&T has contacted Facebook for a comment.