Facebook has come up with a new, unique gesture to help people feel connected during the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The social media company will add a new Facebook hug care reaction to its mobile app and website sometime next week.
Facebook adding new ‘Care’ reactions
Aiming to help people cope with physical and emotional stress and trauma caused due to situations like lockdown and social distancing, Facebook is rolling out a reaction, which shows a face hugging a heart.
Currently, the ‘hug’ reaction has only reached a limited set of users whereas the complete rollout is expected to take place over the course of at least a week. The company says:
“We’ve added a new reaction so you can show extra support while many of us are apart. We hope this helps you, your family and your friends feel a bit more connected.”
Currently, Facebook supports six reactions on mobile apps as well as the website. The new ‘Care’ reaction, however, comes only as an addition during this unprecedented time.
Facebook reactions apply to all kinds of posts and comments. You can also use the ‘Care’ reaction to reach to images, videos, or any other content on the app and website.
Messenger, on the other hand, is rolling out a new ‘beating heart’ reaction emoji to help people show extra love and care to their loved ones. However, Messenger already offers a non-animated heart reaction.
How to update new heart reaction on Messenger
If you want to update the reaction, all you need to do is press and hold down the heart reaction to view the new one. To change it back to the old one, press and hold the new Reaction again.
In 2016 and 2017, Facebook had briefly unlocked a purple-flower reaction for the occasion of Mother’s Day. Although Facebook says this ‘Care’ reaction is temporary for now, there is a chance the company will make it permanent sometime in the future.
Emojis and stickers often serve the purpose of conveying emotions. Since the outbreak, Instagram has rolled out ‘Stay home’ and ‘Thank you’ sticker for stories to encourage social distancing and express gratitude to healthcare workers. Instagram is also making the donation sticker available in more countries.