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Facebook launches new reactions to show you care about the coronavirus crisis the most

Facebook has added an emoji of another emoji hugging a heart – just in case a regular heart failed to represent just how much you cared about that post.

“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”, wrote Facebook EMEA communications manager Alexandru Voica on Twitter.

“We hope these reactions give people additional ways to show their support during the #COVID19 crisis”.

The ‘Care’ reaction will join the six existing emojis that Facebook users can choose from when responding to posts – Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry.

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Facebook unveiled the emoji in response to demand for a new reaction during the current Covid-19 outbreak. Facebook users will no doubt make use of the new hug reaction to show support for friends, family and essential workers affected by the virus in the coming weeks.

“As we’ve spoken with people about the kinds of emotions they want to convey in relation to posts they see in their NewsFeed, ‘Hug’ is one of the most frequently suggested ideas – indicating that there may be a strong need for people to express sympathy or emotional support that might be a little different from our existing ‘Like’ or ‘Love’ reactions”, said head of the Facebook app, Fidji Simo (via The National).

The company is also bringing a new reaction to its popular Messenger app.

The ‘pulsating heart’ reaction offers an alternative option to the regular red heart in the same pink, purple and blue colour scheme as Facebook-owned Instagram’s ‘Stay Home’ sticker.

To access the pulsating heart reaction, simply press and hold down on the regular heart reaction – you can do the same again to switch it back.

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While the new reactions are a perfectly empty nice gesture that allows Facebook users to show others that they’re thinking of them, they might not be enough to pull Facebook out of the hot water it’s found itself in online.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been criticised on social media for not doing enough to help fund coronavirus research. The billionaire donated $25m to the Therapeutics Accelerator fund set up by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – half of what fellow billionaire Gates donated.

Care reactions for Facebook and Messenger will roll out worldwide this week.

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