Facebook may let you use emoticons in status messages

Feeling really ecstatic but feel like you can express yourself better with emoticons? Facebook has a new feature up its sleeve for those who prefer a ‘:D’ over a long sentence about why they’re happy. The social networking giant is testing a new status composer that lets you express your activities with smileys to enunciate your status. You can add icons from various categories such as feeling, reading, or eating, reports TechCrunch.

This new status composer has currently been shared only with a handful of users on the website and the mobile site. 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 about what has been going on and how they are feeling. Detailing it with emoticons only seems like the next logical step for Facebook to get more users to share status messages.

Select from a collection of emojis! (Image Credits: TechCrunch)

Select from a collection of emojis! (Image Credits: TechCrunch)


The new status composer will have emojis that show feelings, culinary smileys and even pre-made smileys for popular books and shows like Game of Thrones and 50 Shades of Gray.

Without divulging much about the new status composer, 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 at 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.

Even better, Facebook could integrate this new status sharing method with Graph Search to load the new search method with more information. Graph Search was launched in January to help users discover human connections in their social sphere, tailored to suit their needs.

Called ‘"third pillar of Facebook," the Graph Search lets users search their social connections for information about people, interests, photos and places. Facebook says that Graph Search functions very differently from web search. While on the web you would search for 'rock music' on Graph Search you could search for 'My friends in Mumbai who like rock music' and you will get tailored results of people, photos, events and more on Facebook.

Facebook already has a wealth of knowledge about you thanks to all the information you share with it. Just from the details on the info page, Facebook knows where you work, what your relationship status is, when were you born and more information of the sort. Adding details collected from emoticon status messages only seems like a wise idea to sharpen Graph Search.

Published Date: Jan 31, 2013 13:45 PM | Updated Date: Jan 31, 2013 13:45 PM