The past couple of months have greatly changed the way many of us live our lives. And along with these changes, many of the simple things we used to enjoy have been taken away from us in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19, including physical touch.
For some, the current limitations imposed on everyone does not seem like a big deal, but the same is not true for others. If you’re one of those who are greatly missing their regular dose of physical affection or just need a general mood boost, Facebook’s two new features are here to help.
Alexandru Voica, EMEA communications manager, Engineering of Facebook, recently announced that the social media platform will soon be rolling out its Care Reactions: a hug emoji on Facebook’s reaction panel, and a pulsating purple heart on Messenger.
He says on 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.”
The hug emoji will be the seventh on Facebook’s reaction panel and will pop up on your screen sometime this week. This makes it possible for anyone to send a virtual hug to friends and loved ones anywhere they are in the world with just a tap.
Simultaneous to the release of the hug emoji, you can also start sending leveled-up heart reactions on Messenger by pressing down on the current red one until it changes to purple. The new heart will be animated to appear to be beating—adding more fun and authenticity to the emotion you’re trying to express.
The last time the social media platform’s reaction panel was updated was back in 2016.