Designed to get everyone into the holiday spirit, the festive reactions replace the traditional Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry with a skeletal thumbs up, candy heart, laughing witch, ghost, Frankenstein’s monster, and grimacing jack o’lantern.
This isn’t the first time Facebook have featured time-limited reactions – back in September, Facebook celebrated Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary with custom Star Trek reactions, though this was only available to a select group of users in the US and Canada. However, unlike their Star Trek counterparts, the Halloween reactions will be available to a wider audience, including the UK.
More interesting than the limited-edition reactions are the introduction of Masks to Facebook Live.
Facebook’s Masks are similar to Snapchat’s massively popular Lenses and will launch to users of Facebook Live on iOS in the US, UK and New Zealand. The initial launch will include a variety of masks, such as a skull, evil queen, pumpkin and a witch, with some masks remaining after Halloween.
To go live with a mask:
- Tap the Live Video icon at the top of your Timeline, News Feed or Page.
- Once you are live, tap the magic wand in the upper left corner of your screen.
- Select the masks icon in the creative tools tray at the bottom of your screen.
- Scroll through the options and tap on masks to have them automatically appear on your face when you are live.
- To remove the mask, simply scroll left in the mask trap and tap the no mask sign.
It’s likely that Facebook will launch more time-limited reactions for events and holidays in the future, but could Facebook partner with big brands to offer custom Masks and Reactions? Snapchat have partnered with brands such as Cadbury, McDonald's and MTV, so it's a possibility that Facebook might do the same.
With the introduction of Masks and the teasing of heavily stylised 'artistic' filters, Facebook appear to be committed to Live – at least for the moment.