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Smiley when you say that! Facebook tries out emoticons

Some of the social network's online and mobile users will be able to express how they're feeling or what they're doing from their status bar.

A look at emoticons on Facebook.
A look at emoticons on Facebook.

Some Facebook users can now go beyond simply updating their status -- they can put an emoticon on the moment.

Facebook last night rolled out what it's calling "a really small test" across its Web site and mobile app that lets users pick from an array of emoticons -- smiley faces and other little bits of graphic art that have now been around for some 30 years -- to express how they're feeling at any given moment.

TechCrunch was first to report on the feature.

Facebook provided CNET with screenshots of the emoticon feature in action. When users access their status update box, they'll find a new question asking what they're doing. Upon choosing that, a host of main options will be displayed, like "feeling," "watching," "reading," "drinking," or "eating." Upon choosing one of those options, they can again drill down to provide more detail. So, for example, if they're feeling happy, they would choose that option after picking "feeling."

For now, Facebook is remaining tight-lipped on the feature, telling CNET that "this is a really early, really small test." The company's spokesperson wouldn't say when or even if the feature would be rolled out networkwide at some point in the future.