Emotional reactions

You've probably already noticed, but the Chronicle recently added emotional reactions to the bottom of articles on our website.

It's not a new concept. Sites like Buzzfeed have had that sort of emotional reaction-gathering ability for years. The concept is simple: You click on the button that most closely resembles your reaction to the story. 

What we hope is that people will use the new buttons as a way to engage with our stories that falls somewhere between just reading and leaving a full-on comment. The emotional reactions don't require you to be logged in or to have a subscription. All you've got to to is click.

But, you might ask, what happens to that data?

Right now, it just keeps a running emotional score for the story, but now that the reactions have been on the site for a couple weeks, we have started using them to display lists of the most loved or hated or wowed stories. You can already see some of those lists beginning to appear around the site.

Down the road, we might even be able to use reactions from logged-in users to suggest new stories they might want to read — all in the interest of bringing you stories you want to see. Rest assured, when that day comes, we'll update the site's privacy policy to reflect what happens to any new data we collect. 

I also have word from our website developers that they're considering adding a basic "like" button in addition to the emoticons available now, since many users have asked for a more generic reaction. I'm hoping they add that button as well, but it could be a few weeks or months off.

In the meantime, let me know in the comments what you think of the new buttons — or click on the emote buttons below this post and let me know that way.