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Facebook Is Testing Emoji Status Updates In Messenger

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Miss posting away messages? There’s a Facebook update in the works for that.

Attention emo kids: The away message might be making a comeback soon.

TechCrunch reports that Facebook is developing a feature called “Your Emoji” that would allow users to overlay an emoji of their choice on their Messenger profile picture for 24 hours.

The goal of the update? Make it easier for users to keep friends and family up to date on their everyday lives and facilitate more IRL hangouts by providing a means for broadcasting your status as available or open to plans to your friends. Slack users will already be familiar with this feature, as the company introduced similar functionality back in April 2017.

News of the test was initially broken by the WhatsApp blog WABetaInfo in a tweet, which contained a screenshot of the test and was shared with Social Media Director for the The Next Web, Matt Navarra.

A Facebook spokesperson has since confirmed the test with TechCrunch: “We’re testing the ability for people to add an emoji to their profile photo in Messenger to let their friends know what they’re up to or how they’re feeling in the moment. We’re interested to see if people enjoy this feature, but we don’t have any additional information to share at this time.”

Image via TechCrunch.

For now, tests of the tool are being restricted to Messenger’s “Active” tab, though it may very well expand elsewhere across the platform should the feedback be positive. Given the Messenger app currently boasts 1.3 billion monthly active users, it’s a logical place to start and arguably the best source for the most well-rounded response as to whether or not the tool would be widely received if globally rolled out.

Moreover, it is a move that ties in with Facebook’s recent announcement that it would be identifying and working on several ways to effectively tie Messenger into Facebook’s overall mission of building “meaningful” communities, whether that entail helping people more easily spend time together when they’re apart and unable to meet in-person or, make more plans to hang out IRL.

Not to mention, who among us wasn’t feeling simultaneous sentiments of loss and nostalgia when we learned that AIM would be shutting down last December? Killing two birds with one stone, Facebook could not only achieve its own business objectives but fill a void the vast majority of millennials were left with upon saying goodbye to AIM.

To hear more about Facebook’s 2018 plans and to further explore our global theme “Closer,” which will grapple with the intensifying conflict between community and individualism, join us at SMWNYC April 24-27. Register today and save 20%.




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