Eventually, every social platform is starting to look and feel similar.
Last November, social media code hacker Jane Manchun Wong spotted LinkedIn’s first tests of its own variation of Reactions, the Facebook emoji response tool which provides a quick and easy way to express more than just a Like on a post.
Now LinkedIn has officially announced the arrival of the tool, which looks slightly different to the test version, but is exactly like Facebook’s response option.
As explained by LinkedIn:
“One of the things we regularly hear from all of you is that you want more expressive ways than a “Like” to respond to the variety posts you see in your feed. At the same time, you’ve also told us that when you post on LinkedIn, you want more ways to feel heard and understand why someone liked what you said. That’s why today we’re starting to roll out a set of Reactions on LinkedIn, giving you more ways to quickly and constructively communicate with one another.”
I mean, they haven’t even given it another name – it seems like as soon as Facebook stole the Stories idea from Snapchat, it opened the floodgates for functional replication. Now, whenever a platform sees a tool that’s gaining some level of popularity on another site, and could also suit their needs, they just copy it straight out. You could argue that this began when everyone copied the News Feed from Facebook, but it seems more overt these days, more up front.
That’s not necessarily a criticism, it’s more an observation. Once Facebook stopped even trying to present some alternate narrative as to how it came up with Stories, it seemed to flag to everyone else that it was okay to blatantly duplicate cool features you like from other platforms. And now, here we are.
The actual, live version of LinkedIn’s Reactions varies slightly from the test iteration initially spotted in November, with the heart emoji replacing the image of two people side by side. LinkedIn has also provided a full overview of its process for choosing its Reactions, which essentially came down to providing responses that corresponded with the most common 1-2 word comments being used on the platform, and what types of posts members were sharing most.
You’ll note that ‘Love’ was not one of these main options (thought the emoji is listed under ‘Gratitude or Appreciation’). According to LinkedIn:
“We analyzed our feedback channels including comments on LinkedIn and social media. We regularly heard members saying “I need a Love reaction.”
Eventually, through various trials, they settled on the five you see now.
So, now you can quickly respond to LinkedIn posts, the same as you can on Facebook. Given the majority of LinkedIn users now log-in via the mobile app, providing a simple response option makes sense. It just feels like everything’s becoming the same on each, that all the platforms are merging into one.
Is that a good thing? I guess it means that learned, habitual behavior can be utilized across each platform, which may make it easier to adapt to each. But it also feels like maybe we’re losing something in the mix.
Regardless, the truth will be in the usage – if it helps increase LinkedIn engagement, then it’s a good move for the platform.