Facebook Reactions make up 16 percent of total publisher likes

Leave it to Fox News to stoke the outrage.

It’s been two months since Facebook rolled out its five new emoji reactions (love, sad, wow, etc.), to let people express more than just that they “liked” something. NewsWhip looked at their use across 20 publishers over the past two weeks and found that Fox News got the most reactions (928,000). Of those, the angry reaction was the second-most often used, 221,000 times, more than double that of the next closest publisher (the millennial-minded NowThis). (Full results are here in NewsWhip’s blog post.)

One takeaway is that news by its nature often incites anger. The reactions on Fox News were disproportionately angry, but other news sites also saw high use of the angry emoji. Next after Fox News was NowThis with nearly 100,000 angry reactions, followed by CNN, Daily Mail, BBC News and The Huffington Post.

Across all 20 publishers, angry was only the fourth-most used, while love was the most popular reaction, used just over 1 million times. Least-used was the wow emoji, used just over half a million times. The data represent yet another set of metrics for publishers to pore over, after likes, shares and comments, as they try to figure out how to deepen their connection with readers.

Fox News readers aren’t just haters — the publisher’s Facebook page also got the most love reactions of all the publishers, with more than 278,000. It was followed by NowThis (250,423) and The Huffington Post (192,384) and BuzzFeed (149,094).

Still, the emojis have been slow to catch on compared to the entrenched “like.” Across the 20 publishers NewsWhip analyzed, the five other reactions totalled 4.7 million, compared to 29.4 million likes.

Those findings aren’t surprising, given what marketing firm Quintly saw when it analyzed 130,000 posts and found 97 percent of the interactions on them involved the use of a like. That means only 3 percent involved one of the other reactions.


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