Online call and video chat service Skype has taken the simplistic essence of emoticons, which have long been used to help people express emotions in the digital age, and put a more human spin on them. ‘Humoticons’, as they are nicknamed, allow users to mimic whichever emotion they choose, snap a picture, and upload the picture directly to Facebook or Skype.
Humoticons are part of Skype’s new marketing campaign It’s Time for Skype, which seeks to “put humanity back into how we communicate with others each and every day”. The campaign is based on the idea that social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook are preventing people from having truly personal contact over the internet. Some of its slogans include: “140 characters doesn’t equal staying in touch,” and “Upgrade from a wall post to a first-class conversation.”
Human emotion can often be removed from communication over social networking sites, but Skype’s Humoticons offer a deeper level of connection than abbreviations such as LOL or emoticons like :).