Have you noticed the bizarre new Facebook icon? Here’s what it means

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  • Finally, some answers!

    Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

    Whenever the Facebook app decides to update and suddenly we realise they’ve added/removed/completely made-over the features we’ve only just got familiar with, there’s the usual outcry. Why are they changing everything all the time? What do all the new buttons mean? Will we ever return to the simpler days of throwing sheep and ‘poking’ people?

    (What can we say? We’re creatures of habit.)

    So when Facebook decided to add this rather bizarre icon onto the toolbar for the mobile app, people were understandably confused. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is literally a rocket and looks like this:

    What does it do? Is it safe to use? Are Facebook giving away free holidays to the moon?

    Mmm, not quite.

    The rocket is actually part of a second news feed that Facebook are currently testing. If you access the app on an Android, you may have noticed that there’s now an ‘Explore’ option that allows you to see content from people that you don’t follow or aren’t friends with (much like the similarly-named Instagram function). It’s curated to show you things that Facebook thinks you might enjoy that you may have missed, based on your current likes and preferences.

    The rocket does exactly the same thing. Not everyone has been lucky enough to get this icon update, but if the masterminds over at Facebook decide that this secondary ‘Explore’ feed is worthwhile, then it’s likely they’ll dish it out to all of us.

    This will mean you’ll have the ‘Home’ and ‘Explore’ options permanently on the toolbar that underlines your usual newsfeed.

    Is it a great way of presenting you with content that you might not have seen otherwise? Or is this just going to rope us into using the social media platform even more than we already do?

    We’ll have to wait to see if the rocket is here to stay before we cast any judgements…

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