Facebook is constantly searching for ways to make its experience more personal.
As its platform descends into a clickbait link-sharing hellhole, the social network wants to insert you (literally speaking, as in your beautiful face) into everything.
Aside from testing video replies in comment threads — again emphasizing a personal mode of expression, instead of an unoriginal GIF or sticker — Facebook has been awarded a patent that outlines a system for users to turn popular emojis in to small pictures of themselves.
Here’s how it would work, according to the patent: When a user goes to enter a common emoji using its text-activated outline in a comment or message thread, Facebook will identify an image of the user that corresponds to the selected emoji (an image of the person smiling in exchange for a smiley emoticon, for example). The system will then replace your generic emoji with the small photo of you, reports PSFK.
The patent will likely rely on Facebook’s facial recognition software, which scans tagged photos for biometric data that can help it identify corresponding faces in other images. Despite legal action banning the auto-tagging system in parts of Europe and in Canada, it is still widely used in the U.S. on Facebook, and its Moments app.
Consequently, the more photos you have tagged of yourself, the more emojis of you it will be able to create. We’re guessing it will be limited to smileys and other emotive face icons that can be customized to fit user images. Although we’d love to see Facebook’s take on a personal version of the taco emoji.
Seeing as Facebook patented its Reactions feature almost two years prior to its release, we could be in for a bit of a wait before we can run rampant with our very own miniature icons.