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(Pocket-lint) - Facebook's Dislike button has arrived. Well, not quite.

The social network has completed a worldwide launch of several "Reactions" that sit alongside the Like button on posts or comments. You can use these emoji-like characters to express a range of emotions, including sadness and anger, meaning they can be considered an alternative to a Dislike button, a feature that many Facebook users have requested from the social network.

Facebook Reactions: Will there ever be a Dislike button?

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Facebook's users have long begged for a way to interact with an unpleasant post or photo. They've asked for a Dislike button, to be specific, because it'd be useful in situations where the Like button might be inappropriate. In response, during a Q&A session last September, Facebook's chief revealed the social network planned to finally provide users with an alternative option.

A few weeks after confirming it is testing a Dislike button of sorts, Facebook made a follow-up announcement: it'll begin testing a new way for users to react to status and photo updates. But it's not exactly a Dislike button. He said the upcoming feature would allow users to express emotions other than "like" but that the focus would be on empathy rather than negativity.

Facebook then unveiled new Reactions that express different emotions. With these emoji, especially the angry and sad faces, users will be able to show negative emotions without being mean or bullying. Facebook said they would be available to most Facebook users in Spain and Ireland by the end of October and should expand to all 1.5 billion by the end of 2015.

Facebook Reactions: When will Reactions be available?

Facebook launched a global rollout of Reactions across the social network in February 2016. It has described them as "an extension of the Like button, to give you more ways to share your reaction to a post in a quick and easy way."

Reactions are available on both desktop and mobile.

Facebook Reactions: What do the different Reactions mean?

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These are the Reactions available, with a summary of their potential uses:

  • Like: General approval/acknowledgement
  • Love: Extreme approval/affection
  • Haha: Something is funny/acknowledgement
  • Wow: Shocked/impressed
  • Sad: Opposite of Like/grief/sorrow
  • Angry: Hate/disgust/fury

Facebook Reactions: How do Reactions work?

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  • Add a Reaction: Hold down the Like button on mobile or hover over the Like button on desktop on a post or photo to see the Reaction image options. From there, tap either Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry.
  • Undo a Reaction: Similar to how you'd "unlike" a post or photo, simply re-tap on mobile or re-click on desktop the Reaction area once to undo.
  • View Reactions: Similar to how you could tap on mobile or hover on desktop over the Like button area to see a list of who "liked" a post or photo, you can now tap or hover over the Reactions area to see which people used which Reactions to express themselves.

Note: Reactions don't appear to be enabled for comment replies.

Facebook Reactions: Want to know more?

Watch Facebook's new video trailers for the new reaction via its blog post.

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Writing by Elyse Betters.