Menlo Park, CA - In an effort to promote social distancing awareness, Facebook avatars will now be required to wear masks when users are out in public.
The change will happen automatically as users check-in establishments or enter public locations that trigger the platform to change the emoji.
Analysts say the move will not only help remind people to stay safe but is also designed to help users better recognize the avatars of their mask-wearing friends and family members in the real world.
One user said, "When my best friend created her avatar, I kept thinking 'that looks nothing like you.' Something was definitely missing besides 40 lbs. It turned out it was the mask."
Facebook says they will do a phased approach to the safety measure. If things continue to improve, avatars will slowly be able to wear their masks less and less. If things get worse, they intend to add gloves.
Users will be able to choose from five different styles of masks when the update goes live this week.
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