Facebook reactions: how are they used and which personality factors predict their use?

Graham G. Scott*, Lara-Jade Conlon, Claire Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recent expansion of Facebook’s ‘like’ to six emotional reactions (love, haha, wow, sad, angry) represents the first update related to feedback, allowing users to respond to shared content, in almost a decade. We surveyed 260 Facebook users to investigate how reactions are utilized, and in response to what type of online content (status updates, pictures, links, timehops and events). We also measured Big Five personality and narcissism. Users were most likely to react using like, followed by positive reactions (love, haha, wow), and were least likely to employ the negative reactions sad and angry. Status updates and pictures were the types of content most likely to be responded to, and events least likely. Neuroticism, extraversion and openness positively predicted, and narcissism negatively predicted, utilization of reactions, and likelihood of responding. Established online norms and the affordances of Facebook features provide explanation for the findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-213
Number of pages24
JournalThe Journal of Social Media in Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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