Facebook is about to make a change to its messenger service that borrows from old ideas but will put a whole new spin on the old-fashioned status bar.
Remember when Facebook first came out and used to be able to put a short comment just below your name telling the world how you were feeling or what you were doing?
“John is having a bad day.”
“Jenny is pumped to be hanging out with her friends.”
“Anthony is loving the new Facebook status bar.”
Things like that.
Well, Facebook is bringing it back, but in picture form.
Shortly, you will be able to update your messenger profile with a series of emojis designed to tell your friends and family what you are doing right now. There will be predictable images such as working, playing with friends, studying, sleeping etc etc…
Then there are the emojis that will piggyback existing technology and create an active ecosystem of information for geographically convenient people. For example, if you are thinking of heading out for a drink after work, you may look at the messenger statuses of nearby friends who also are using the ‘heading out for a beer,’ emoji. If you don’t have anything to do on the weekend, you can subtly use various images to tell your friends what you would like to do, without the overly desperate plea that usually comes attached.
This incredibly simple – and to many pointless – means of communication has the potential to be transformative in an industry that has attempted to capitalise on “one button communication” since the medium was invented. Cleverly, this innovation wasn’t introduced until messenger was well and truly mainstream. Now, people are using it as a Skype alternative and because it operates off the most popular social network in the world, everything is easily accessible.
It may not seem like much, and it is hardly a technological innovation, but if Facebook gets this right, then we will all be communicating in pictures in the very near future.