January 31, 2013

Feelings, Actions and More - Facebook Might Have an Emoticon for That


Facebook didn’t waste any time revealing its newest possible platform development this week. Almost immediately after revealing its fourth quarter earnings, reports started buzzing that the company began trialing new emoticons that same day, which will visually depict exactly what users are feeling when they update their status.

You might know emoticons as those animated little faces that live on some of the Internet’s most annoying pop-up ads, but apparently, Facebook thinks this will make for a great way to add an extra layer of depth to users’ sharing capabilities.

Of course, users can share how they are feeling with the emoticon (ie. happy, sad, tired), which will serve as a pop of color and shape amidst the never-ending sea of text in one’s Facebook newsfeed; however, the company is attempting to go one step ahead by allowing users to express everything and anything they happen to be doing (that is the point of Facebook, right?). So if you’re reading, listening to music, dining or watching TV, you can promptly click on the representative symbol to visually share your action if you wish.

The company reportedly told TechCrunch that the bread and butter of this project will be aimed toward advertisers who want to achieve a farther and more targeted customer reach. So if you happen to be eating at a restaurant, listening to a specific piece of music or watching a certain television show or movie, you can be better targeted with relating ads.

TechCrunch shared this image below of what this feature could look like. Basically, it would be a drop down list with each emoticon, which then offers an abundance of options beside it to click as another addition. For example, next to “Watching,” users can choose from a sub-category of options, including popular TV shows such as Dr. Phil and Pretty Little Liars. This action is completed by clicking on the “What are you doing?” tab beneath the original status box.

Image via TechCrunch

TechZone360 reported yesterday that the only bad news Facebook encountered in its fourth quarter earnings reveal was its decreased stock price – down fully five percent on the day. Other than that, things seemed peachy for the social media mogul, and with a reported revenue ($1.56 billion) that narrowly beat out industry predictions ($1.53 billion), the company is clearly not looking to slow down to even so much as celebrate.

And of course, Facebook is testing these new emoticons on its mobile site in addition to its standard website. Yahoo reported today that the company’s mobile ad network doubled this quarter, which it calls “a sign that [it] is seeing early success in expanding onto handheld devices as more of its users migrate to smartphones and tablets.”

Similarly, TechZone360 reports that “it’s clear that mobile is going to be an important part of Facebook’s near-term strategy,” where CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself said that Facebook was now a “mobile company” during the earnings conference call.

Perhaps this emoticon feature will fare well for mobile users, which will only further propel Facebook’s exploding mobile ad network. “But what’s clear is that Facebook has several plans for expansion,” TechZone360’s Steve Anderson concludes in the report. “They’re clear, they’re actionable, and overall they look sound. Facebook wants improvements in mobile expansion, where it’s already seeing results, [and] it has plans to better focus on facilitating marketing.”




Edited by Jamie Epstein



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