The COVID-19 lockdown measure has forced people to find leisure activities while remaining indoors. Facebook has fast become a go-to platform for people to check-in with their neighbors and loved ones.
In a show of support and presence in its apps, the Facebook team announced the addition of two new emojis to signify that you care. The emoji for Facebook will appear in the form of a face-hugging a heart, while the one for Messenger is a pulsing heart. Both will appear beside the “thumbs up” for like and the other emoji reactions.
On Facebook, we will launch a seventh Reaction alongside the existing six. The new Care Reaction will start rolling out next week globally and you can use it to react to posts, comments, images, videos, or other content on the app and https://t.co/t0PZL74vjg pic.twitter.com/PkpbCoPc4F — Alexandru Voica (@alexvoica) April 17, 2020
The “care” reactions are the first addition to the list of reactions since Facebook expanded the “like” button with six empathetic buttons—including the Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad, and Angry.
In the coming weeks, Facebook will roll out the care emojis on the main app. The pulsing heart reaction will also appear on Messenger starting this week.
A spokesperson for the social media giant said the reactions are designed to give people additional ways to show their support to others affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
The emojis are a small gesture during this crisis. It does not guarantee income or food on the table. It also doesn’t give a cure to the pandemic. However, it acts as a crucial part of many people’s support systems who are living in isolation.
As more artists and businesses turn to live-streaming tools during the pandemic, Facebook has decided to add an option for people to charge for access to events streamed using Facebook Live. Creators and small businesses can charge a fee for access to online performance, classes, and conferences.
The social media company gave no further details. They also didn’t specify when the paid live stream feature will arrive, only that it will be available in the coming weeks. They have yet to clarify whether or not there will be limitations as to who will be able to use the feature.
Facebook also added the option for event organizers to mark their shows as “online only.”
The media company will also roll out Messenger Rooms, a tool for virtual hangouts that resembles Zoom and Houseparty. The rooms will allow up to 50 people. Friends can also drop in on conversations whenever they like.
The room’s creator can let others enter the conference or lock it from uninvited guests. The feature will first be available on Messenger and Facebook. It will also be rolled on to Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Portal later on.
While in the room, participants can play with augmented reality filters or virtual backgrounds. Some backgrounds will reportedly offer 360-degree views.
Facebook will also add video calls to Facebook Dating and will add additional live stream features for Instagram. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, said the company is shifting more resources to focus on private communication and social platforms. They are planning to introduce tools that can help people find smaller groups to have private sessions with.
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