As a lot of us continue to stay indoors, Facebook has become a go-to platform for many people to check in with their friends, family and neighbors during the current coronavirus pandemic. Today, to give us another way of showing support and presence in its apps, the company said it would add a new reaction for “care” — in the forms of an emoji face hugging a heart, and a pulsing heart — that will appear alongside the “thumbs up” for like, the basic heart, and the laughing, shock, sadness, and anger emojis.
Starting this week, the care emojis will start appearing on Facebook (the emoji face embracing the heart) and on Messenger (in the form of a pulsing heart). You can see the new heart by pressing on an existing reaction to change it, or by creating a new reaction to a chat.
This is relatively speaking a pretty small gesture: offering up an emoji in response to a post is not putting food on the table (nor shopping for it, which has become a challenge in itself), giving someone a guarantee of income, making sure that a person is not being misinformed about the scope of the novel coronavirus and how best to deal with that, nor indeed curing anyone who happens to get sick from this awful thing.
But in the scope of Facebook being a crucial part of many people’s support networks, ever more important as people live in isolation, it’s another way to make it more useful and more tuned to the kind of empathy we all need right now.
So for now, 🤗.