In the past few months, Facebook has been using the status update box to ask about users’ favorite Halloween candy and to inquire about their holiday plans. Now it’s taking that process to the next step, as TechCrunch reports that Facebook is testing emoticons within the status update prompt. Now when users say that they’re feeling happy or chowing down on pasta, they can have smiley faces or forks accompanying their posts, and detail more specifically what they’re doing.
When select users click to post status updates, a box appears right below the normal prompt space that asks, “What are you doing?” Once users click that, they have the chance to enter in several actions, such as feeling, watching, reading, listening to, eating, and drinking. TechCrunch reported that this is being tested for a few users on desktop and mobile, and they can either select from ready-linked options, or type in their own.
As Brittany Darwell of sister site Inside Facebook notes, this could be a way that status updates could be indexed for graph search (but Facebook said not yet). With this kind of information, someone could likely do a search for, “Friends who are watching ‘The Big Bang Theory.’”
When a user sends out a status update with one of the emoji, here’s what it looks like:
While this could be a gold mine for advertisers, a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch that it’s not using these data for advertising purposes just yet:
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 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.
Readers: Would you use this new status update?