Facebook letting some users add what they're doing to status updates

The Facebook status composer is evolving. While you can already tell your Facebook friends "What's on your mind", the social networking giant is now letting its users in the USA tell their friends what they're doing, courtesy an update.


The new status composer lets users tell their friends what they're watching, listening to, reading, eating, drinking or even how they're feeling. However, the posts will no longer be limited to plain text: Facebook will automatically add pictures and links to your post. For instance, if you type in that you're watching Jurassic Park, the post will show the movie icon and a link to the movie's page. The movie will also be added to your Movies section on the timeline.

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Facebook has stated in a post announcing the feature that these updates and the stories added to your timeline respect the privacy settings you choose for that post.


Of course, the rest of the world will have to wait for Facebook to roll the feature out. We have no idea when Indian users can expect to tell the world what they're doing via Facebook.


The status composer is definitely going to be seeing more use. Facebook recently confirmed with Mashable that it will soon be letting users in the USA update their statuses with emoticons via a new status composer. We have no idea when the new feature would be reaching this side of the planet.


We first got word of Facebook testing a new status composer that allows users to express themselves with smileys late last year. At the time, the new status composer was shared with a handful of users on the website and the mobile site. With the new status composer, you can add icons from various categories such as feeling, reading, or eating.


Facebook has jumped on to the smiley bandwagon rather late—Google+ already supports animated emoticons on their mobile app, and Path allows users to ‘smile’ at each other’s posts. Facebook only recently started prompting users to update their status by asking them questions like "What has been going on?" and "How are you feeling?" Detailing posts with emoticons only seems like the next logical step for Facebook to get more users to share status messages.


Without divulging much about the new status composer at the time, Facebook said, “It’s just a new way for people to visually represent what they’re doing and how they’re feeling through their Facebook posts. It will only be available to a small set of people. This isn’t integrated into Graph Search. It’s just a small test to see if people are interested in sharing their actions in a more visual way.”


Facebook added that it isn’t using the data put up on these emoticon-rich status messages for advertising. At least, not yet. Emoticon-laden status messages could turn into a goldmine for Facebook, as advertisers would now be able to know users' likes and dislikes on a much deeper level. For example, if you put up a status about dining out using an emoticon of a particular cuisine, it will become easier for advertisers to target you for ads regarding places that offer that cuisine.

Published Date: Apr 11, 2013 13:56 PM | Updated Date: Apr 11, 2013 13:56 PM