UPDATE 2-From sadness to wow, Facebook launches reaction buttons beyond like

Thu Oct 8, 2015 2:28pm EDT
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(Adds details of feature, quote from Mark Zuckerberg, user reaction)

SAN FRANCISCO Oct 8 (Reuters) - Like it or not, Facebook Inc's trademark "like" button is set to get more expressive.

Users will soon be able to do more than "like" posts. They will be able to love them and express sympathy, anger or sadness with animated emoticons.

The social network said on Thursday it is launching a pilot test of "Reactions," with users able select from seven emotions, including like and "wow."

"Dislike," however, is not one of the options.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post Thursday that users have been requesting ways other than like to respond to posts, such as when someone posts about the death of a loved one or a tragic news story.

"Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy," wrote Zuckerberg, who said last month the company was working on expanding the like button. "A like might not be the best way to express yourself."

In a video accompanying a Facebook post by Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, the six new buttons appear as animated emoticons and pop up when the "like" button is long-pressed. (on.fb.me/1LBnXIG)

The company said it would pilot the new features in Ireland and Spain on iOS, Android and desktops. The feedback from the pilot test will be used to improve the feature. The company hopes "to roll it out to everyone soon," Cox wrote in the post, which was "liked" by more than 7,500 people within two hours.   Continued...