USA Today puts emojis into headlines :-\


In a bid to pre-empt Facebook’s upcoming ‘Reactions’, USA Today has started inserting emojis into its newspaper- but readers are giving it the thumbs down.

Earlier this week, Facebook announced it is testing "Reactions," a set of six emoji-based buttons that will allow users the ability to respond to content in a more emotionally sensitive way.

On Friday, USA Today, clearly feeling the buzz around the impending debut, decided to give the emoji a test run on its own front page.

See the results below:


The paper uses the emoji to provide emotional cues, like a sad face next to a story about a stabbing, an angry face next to an article about Russia's misdirected missiles, and a big wow face next to an item about Kevin McCarthy's decision to drop out of the race for House speaker.

Emojis, an evolution from text-based emoticons, are a common feature of online messaging on smartphones and computers.

Speaking to the Guardian, USA Today editor-in-chief David Callaway said the experiment was an attempt to stir debate as Facebook’s introduction of emojis could lead to a billion people regularly using them.

He said: “I doubt they will become a core part of print articles, but we wanted to see what it would look like ... I think we’ll see more experimenting with digital practices in print, even if they don’t become mainstream.”

The stunt received a mixed reaction on Twitter, with some pointing out that it contrasted with the serious nature of the stories.

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