Facebook announced new set of emojis that are exclusively for the Facebook and Messenger apps. The emojis are meant as a way for users to share their support with each other.
But some are finding them somewhat awkward.
A Facebook executive announced the new emojis over Twitter.
“We’re launching new Care reactions on @facebookapp and @Messenger
as a way for people to share their support with one another during this unprecedented time.
We hope these reactions give people additional ways to show their support during the #COVID19 crisis.”
— Alexandru Voica (@alexvoica) April 17, 2020
Last-Minute Valentines Day Gift
Facebook’s “care” emojis are meant to signal that someone cares about someone else.
But the Facebook App emoji bears an uncanny similarity to a stuffed bear with a heart.
The emoji that is designed for the Facebook app is a smiley face icon hugging a heart.
It is very similar to a stuffed bear with a heart, which is a symbol of a last-minute Valentines Day gift.
The stuffed bear with a heart was satirized on Saturday Night Live as last-minute Valentines Day gift from a drugstore.
The purple throbbing heart emoji is designed for the Facebook Messenger app.
The idea of a throbbing purple heart might seem a little awkward. But what makes it extra odd is that it resembles Warner Brothers cartoon’s “That’s all folks!” logo.
What are Emojis About?
Emojis are a way to communicate better online. Online discussions lack visual and aural cues that communicate subtle hints about whether something is said in jest or in seriousness.
It’s easy to mistake something written on Facebook as being angry and with unintended emotions attached to a post. The reason is because there is a lack of visual and aural cues.
The original purpose of emojis was to smooth online discussions, helping people communicate better by signaling moods and emotions. That’s their utilitarian purpose.
Most people associate emojis with whimsy. They are used in a whimsical manner to communicate reactions and thus become the message itself.
Facebook’s “care” emojis fall into the “whimsy” category because they are the message. But they’re not really whimsical.
The smiley face gripping a disembodied heart resembles a bad Valentines Day gift.
The throbbing purple heart emoji creates the expectation of Porky Pig bursting out of it screaming, That’s all folks!
Twitter Users Underwhelmed
Some tweeted the sentiment that Coronavirus emojis were a superficial response to the pandemic.
The emojis can be seen as an awkward attempt to do jump on the Covid-19 empathy bandwagon by trying to do something “Coronavirusy.”
But given the wealth associated with Facebook and Zuckerberg, it has an awkward “let them eat cake” obliviousness.
Some Twitter users are finding it difficult to imagine how Facebook “care” emojis are going to make life under quarantine any better.
yes thank you Facebook new “care” emojis is exactly what we need right now and it will make a huge difference – dare I say, it might even ban the virus altogether. no, no need to donate any money mr Zuckerberg, “care” emojis is definitely enough. https://t.co/VhjvptqCvO
— Ana Leorne (@analeorne) April 17, 2020
This Twitter user mocked the uselessness of the new “care” emojis:
Well that will help defeat the virus. Thanks.
— Joan Camara (@jellencamara) April 19, 2020
Facebook Care Emojis
It’s frustrating to be in quarantine. People want to return to normal life. Facebook “care” emojis are rolling out to Facebook and Messenger apps soon.