Facebook Hires Pixar Artist To 'Reinvent' the Emoticon
Who knew that smiling on Facebook could be so scientific?
The social media site has recently hired Pixar animation artist Matt Jones and UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner to "crack a universal language" in the hopes of reinventing emoticons as we know them.
The focus is to "express the wide range of nuanced emotions we experience," not just going with simple "happy" or "sad" expressions. Jones and Keltner's rough drafts indicate several different facial expressions for the new emotions, whether it's maternal love, happiness, affirmation or negation.
The research is actually of scientific nature, as the two are basing their work on Charles Darwin's book "The Expression of the Emotions In Man and Animals," which explores the theory that humans and animals react the same with given situations. The pair are also following the evolutionary theorist's method to insure the emoticons are true to expressions.
Jones's drawings are currently in a testing phase throughout the world, to assess how people react upon seeing the emotions and "being translated back into the anatomical coding of real facial expressions, allowing them to see if they work on a real human face," according to a report on Gizmodo.
Animation, size, dimensions and colors are being toyed around with, as Facebook blue has been rejected, with Jones stating they "just looked like they had hypothermia." The right color must be chosen, though, as he isn't looking to offend anyone. "Colors will be a racist issue."
No word yet on when the new emoticons will launch. In the meantime, though, don't be afraid to smile.