According to a patent filed earlier this month, Facebook may soon create personalized emojis of users’ faces.
The feature would use Facebook’s facial recognition technology to scan through all of your photos to find a match with an emoji you intended to use. For example, if you typed the symbol for a smiley-face, Facebook could offer you the option to replace the standard smiley-face emoji with a tiny picture of you smiling instead.
“The image corresponding to the emoticon may be an image of the user with an expression similar to the expression conveyed by the detected emoticon,” the patent read. “The image might also be any image the user has preselected to represent the expression conveyed by the detected emoticon.”
Some popular platforms like Slack already offer custom emoji options like this, so it’s no surprise Facebook is following suit. While the amount of emojis offered would likely be limited at first, a user’s options could expand with the more pictures they uploaded and tagged. And, of course, that may be the ultimate goal. The more pictures you tag yourself in, the more engaged you are with Facebook, and the more engaged you are with Facebook, the more of your data the site receives.