Do you love “Live Long and Prosper”? Then you’ll probably be reacting to Facebook posts with Star Trek icons today.
The social-media giant morphed its usual lineup of like, love, haha, wow, sad and angry emojis to reflect a Trek vibe, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the “Star Trek” TV show’s U.S. premiere.
The thumbs-up for “Like” adds a Starfleet sparkle. “Love” has been turned into a Vulcan salute, the “Haha” face has a Captain Kirk hairdo, “Wow” gets the Spock treatment, “Sad” looks like Geordi La Forge from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and “Angry” has the furrowed brow of a Klingon.
“We wanted to mark this fun, nostalgic moment and help the passionate community of Star Trek fans celebrate in some unique ways on Facebook,” Lindsey Shepard, marketing lead for Facebook Messenger, said in a Medium post explaining the shift.
Facebook is also sending a Trek-themed greeting to folks in the U.S. and Canada who have expressed an interest in “Star Trek” or science fiction. The online greeting card gives those fans the option of adding a custom Star Trek frame to their profile picture. Shepard’s post goes into the making of a miniature Starship Enterprise for the design project.
Shepard says the Trek emojis will be available to some Star Trek fans in the U.S. and Canada for a limited time, and will appear when they hover over the like button on a Facebook post.
Frank Catalano, a longtime science-fiction fan and writer (as well as a GeekWire contributor) marveled over how Facebook tailored its tribute to the Star Trek crowd. He could see the emojis on his Facebook page – but his wife, who’s less tuned in to Trek, couldn’t.
It all goes to show that Facebook is getting better and better about mining data from its users’ preferences and turning the results into marketing offers with a laser … er, phaser focus.
Also today, a study from a data analytics company called Quintly found that the like emojis, officially known as Facebook Reactions, are quickly picking up steam. The personal profiles generated by those reactions can serve as a treasure trove for social-media analysts and marketers.
“Depending on how Facebook’s trove is used, it can be creepy or delightful. Or both simultaneously,” Catalano said.