Although Facebook’s IPO may not have taken off as successfully as Mark Zuckerberg and his team would perhaps have liked, there’s little doubting the work ethic of Facebook in 2012. The mobile app finally seems to have been taken care of, and among a continual stream of new features and performance enhancements, the News Feed now supports the use of emoticons in comments.
Sure, it’s a pretty incremental alteration in the grand scheme of things – particularly given Facebook’s recent one billion active users milestone – but given how the little smiley faces have been prevalent in chat for a number of years, it always seemed strange the implementation wasn’t system-wide.
Unlike much of the other recent Facebook-official news and releases, Team Zuck didn’t make a song and dance about News Feed emoticon support, but it’s likely to appease many of those intent on adding an extra dimension to their comments. Unfortunately (or rather, fortunately, depending on your stance on emoticons), one cannot add a smiley to a status update, but any comments made to said update can include those small, predominantly yellow faces.
There are a mixed bag of emoticons which can be utilized depending on your mood or feeling, and at present, those available are the same as the ones offered with Facebook Chat. This new feature doesn’t yet stretch to Android, iOS, or indeed the mobile web app, but we’ll presume this to be happening in due course. If you do use an emoticon on Facebook, it will only show on the desktop iteration, and elsewhere, it’ll simply appear as the text equivalent.
Although the majority will see this as a welcome move, I’m sure there’ll be a few grumbles and sighs at the MSN Messenger-esque nature of the emoticon. What’re you thinking – yay or nay?
Personally, I find emoticons a little bit spammy and unnecessary – particularly when a plain text iteration is more than sufficient in portraying a facial expression. However, I don’t see it as enough of an irritation to dig out the pitchfork.
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