February 1, 2013

Facebook Trials Emoticons In Status Updates

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook has begun testing the use of emoticons in status updates on the site.

A small group of users has access to the new development, which allows people to select symbols to show what they are doing.

The options include glasses to indicate someone watching a film or an event, headphones to show they are listening to music, and a knife and fork to let people know they are eating.

Users can then choose from a list of options - such as Watching: "The Simpsons", Feeling: "Ecstatic", or can just type in their own text.

Emoticons can currently be used for replying to comments, but not in a user's own status update.

A Facebook spokesman told Sky News: "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."

However, some technology bloggers have suggested that if the development is rolled out the information could potentially be used to target people with adverts.

Facebook did not comment on that possibility.

The new status composer is being tested on both web and mobile versions of the social network.

Changes to the site - which has just revealed a 40% jump in revenues - often prove divisive among its one billion monthly users.

The most recent significant change was the introduction of the timeline feature instead of the regular wall.

[via Sky News]