Although Facebook posts have generated billions of “likes” over the years, options to express other emotions have not been available. How does one quickly express empathy, concern, love, sadness, and even anger? Facebook users have long asked for other ways to express opinions or even dislikes. And, as more users post on Facebook using mobile devices, the ability to express an opinion quickly is certainly needed.
The wait is nearly over. Facebook announced that it will begin testing six new emoji settings, similar to the familiar thumbs-up “like” icon. New emoji buttons will include love, laughter, happiness, surprise, sadness, and even anger. The buttons were chosen so that they would easily relate to global audiences, but without overt negativism.
The six new emoji icons will be available to most Facebook users in Spain and Ireland in October. As the company evaluates reactions to the new buttons, it will refine them and eventually make them available to Facebook’s 1.5 billion global users later this year.
How will users feel about this? Use the new buttons and let the world know.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss students’ use of Facebook.
- View video of Mark Zuckerberg discussing the new buttons: https://vimeo.com/139401042
- Poll students about the new emoji buttons. Will the buttons meet their needs? What other buttons might be useful?
- Discuss the impact of comments on Facebook. What would happen if there was a “thumbs-down, dislike” button?
- What will be the impact to marketing with the new buttons? How can companies take advantage of the range of emotions?
Source: San Jose Mercury News, New York Times, other news sources.