From there, the app will provide the standard set of Facebook Reactions, including emojis for love, laughter, amazed, sad, and angry. Thumbs up is still available, as well as the all-new thumbs down, which Facebook has said in the past that it wants to avoid using on the main social media site to avoid overt negativity among friends and family members. When Reactions originally launched around a year ago, Facebook aimed for them to be a more nuanced and diverse way to react to posts that was more varied than a simple thumbs up or thumbs down response.
Facebook confirmed this new feature to TechCrunch, saying “We’re always testing ways to make Messenger more fun and engaging. This is a small test where we enable people to share an emoji that best represents their feelings on a message.”But, according to a statement from the company, within Facebook Messenger the dislike button is being seen as a simple "no" response. Similar to iOS Messages and Slack, Facebook said that its Messenger app is used for coordination and planning, and the addition of message-specific reaction buttons helps streamline plans among large groups of friends.
As is the case with these small tests, it's unclear whether or not Reactions in Facebook Messenger will expand to all users at one point. Last year, the company began testing out a disappearing post feature within Messenger in Poland and Australia, called "Messenger Day." Earlier this year, it launched a similar feature, now called "Facebook Stories," but within the mainline Facebook app for users in Ireland. Neither Snapchat-like update has launched worldwide.
Update 3/23: Facebook has launched Reactions in Messenger worldwide, as well as introduced a new @ mentions feature for the separate messaging app.