For emerging social networks, user engagement can sometimes be slow to gain traction. This is typically hidden from the user, except for one important feature that prominently displays it: “Like” counts. We set out to see if we could turn this problem into a valuable experience.
Users browsing our feeds were noticing only one or two “likes” per post, and this was leaving them with a poor opinion of the community in which they were participating. As it turns out, the “like” count does quite a few things for us: It highlights posts that others find valuable, gives you the ability to express your value, and helps you discover new friends that “like” similar things. What all these additional functions reveal is that simply faking or removing the numbers does nothing to nurture a strong network.
We first created a list of user stores we hoped the new “like” feature would satisfy:
- I want to react to content
- I want to have more fun “liking”
- I want to know if I’m looking at popular content
- I want to know who else reacted to the content
- I want to vote multiple times or “boost”
- I want to select from a range of emotions
- I want an experience unique from our competitors
I began ideating on various ways to both receive and display emotion from the user.