Facebook has confirmed with Mashable that it will soon be letting users in the USA update their statuses with emoticons via a new status composer. We have no idea when the new feature would be reaching this side of the planet.
We first got word of Facebook testing a new status composer that allows users to express themselves with smileys. At the time, the new status composer was shared only with a handful of users on the website and the mobile site. You can add icons from various categories such as feeling, reading, or eating.
Say, what's on your mind?
Facebook has jumped on to the smiley bandwagon rather late—Google+ already supports animated emoticons on their mobile app, and Path allows users to ‘smile’ at each other’s posts. Facebook only recently started prompting users to update their status by asking them questions like “What has been going on?” and “How are you feeling?” Detailing it with emoticons only seems like the next logical step for Facebook to get more users to share status messages.
So, what's on your plate?
Without divulging much about the new status composer at the time, Facebook said, “It’s just a new way for people to visually represent what they’re doing and how they’re feeling through their Facebook posts. It will only be available to a small set of people. This isn’t integrated into Graph Search. It’s just a small test to see if people are interested in sharing their actions in a more visual way.”
Facebook added that it isn’t using the data put up on these emoticon-rich status messages for advertising. At least, not yet. Emoticon-laden status messages could turn into a goldmine for Facebook, as advertisers would now be able to know users' likes and dislikes on a much deeper level. For example, if you put up a status about dining out using an emoticon of a particular cuisine, it will become easier for advertisers to target you for ads regarding places that offer that cuisine.