Image: Flickr user Christoph Scholz//CC 2.0

Facebook is launching a couple of new reactions for the main Facebook app as well as Messenger, a small yet significant gesture that it hopes will help people in these uncertain times. This was revealed by Alexandru Voica, EMEA tech communications manager for Facebook on his Twitter handle.

These are unprecedented times. Humanity has never faced anything of this magnitude and that has brought people from every aspect of life together. Amid such hard and testing times, even small gestures like thanking the health workers for their relentless and selfless efforts, or donating to the food shelter near you, hold greater significance. Facebook seems to have understood that well.

The “hug” reaction, which Facebook says was highly requested, will be available on the app along with the six existing ones. While the “pulsating heart” will be available on the Messenger to help people show extra love and care for their friends and family.

Besides these tender gestures, Facebook has also been at the forefront of COVID-19 relief efforts, releasing millions of dollars in grants and credits to small newsrooms reporting on the pandemic as well as agencies providing information regarding COVID-19 on the platform. Researchers from the ChanZuckerberg Initiative were also the first group of scientists to successfully sequence the virus genome that helped in developing testing methods for the virus.