Facebook's latest reaction emoji gives a hug to show you care

Facebook has launched its sixth reaction emoji with availability on both the main Facebook platform and on the Messenger app. With this new emoji, users can better express that they care — the character shows a smiling face that is hugging a bright pink heart. The reaction emoji joins the previous reactions, including the laughing face, angry face, thumbs up, sad face, and heart.

The new reaction emoji appears, at first glance, to be a bit redundant — the Facebook platform already features a Heart emoji, which is just a large heart in a pink bubble. That emoji can be used to express that you 'love' rather than just 'like' something; in comparison, the new 'care' emoji is designed to express the sentiment that you care about someone.

The emoji looks different on Facebook than on Messenger, where it's just a radiating heart. The new reaction is being introduced specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Facebook EMEA tech communications manager Alexandru Voica.

According to Voica, Facebook will start rolling out this seventh reaction emoji in the same row with the existing six next week. This rollout will take place around the globe, according to Facebook; it'll be available on both desktop and on the mobile apps. Users will be able to use the care reaction on posts, images, videos, and similar things.

It's unclear whether the new care reaction emoji on Messenger will roll out at the same time as the reaction on the main Facebook platform. The latest reaction joins the batch that Facebook first introduced on its platform in 2015.