Amid the Coronavirus crisis, everyone is stying indoor and practicing social distancing. Countries have closed down their borders and restricted movements forcing everybody to live a life of isolation. Doing basic stuff like buying groceries has become a lot harder. Normal life as we knew, is all gone. Office goers are now working from home; teachers are taking classes over Zoom or Skype. With no way to physically visit and check on family, friends, and neighbors, social media has become the go-to place.
Among all the social media platforms, Facebook is by far the most used platform. Millions of people log on to Facebook each day to connect with their loved once and to make sure they are doing fine. To help people show support to their friends and family members, Facebook is adding a new ‘Care’ emoji reaction. The ‘Care’ emoji features an emoji face hugging a heart. The emoji will show up on the website as well as on the main app alongside like, heart, shock, laughing, sadness, and anger reactions.
Facebook for the first time, added a new reaction emoji since 2015 when it replaced the traditional like button with the 6 new reactions.
On the Messenger app, however, the ‘Care’ emoji is in the form of a pulsing heart. To activate the new emoji reaction, you can long-press on the heart reaction. To change it back to normal, you can long-press again on the heart reaction.
“We find ourselves navigating unprecedented times with COVID-19 and many people have been turning to platforms like Facebook and Messenger. Our hope is to give people ways to provide and show support to one another through many of the new features we build,” says Simo, head of the Facebook app.
“As we’ve spoken with people about the kinds of emotions they want to convey in relation to posts they see in their NewsFeed, ‘Hug’ is one of the most frequently suggested ideas — indicating that there may be a strong need for people to express sympathy or emotional support that might be a little different from our existing ‘Like’ or ‘Love’ reactions”
Facebook will start rolling out the new ‘care’ reaction emoji on the Facebook app starting next week.
Facebook and other social platforms are playing a vital role in the pandemic. Social media is among the most used platforms for people to get information. So, the spread of misinformation is a huge problem, especially in a time like these. Facebook is aware of that and working on many levels to curb the spread of panic and misinformation. For example, last month Facebook banned all ads regarding ‘cure’ for COVID-19.