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Skype: Ditch Emoticons, Switch To 'Humoticons'

They say that actions speaks louder than words, so Skype has put this theory to the test by asking users to swap emoticons for 'humoticons'. As part of its ad campaign mocking the likes of Facebook and Twitter, Skype has launched a new service whereby users are asked to replace the standard emoticon with a more humane approach - Skype Humoticons.

Skype made the announcement on the company's official blog (opens in new tab), aiming to "make the web a little more human" as well as stress the most important message of all: "Because nothing can replace the look on your face".

The Skype Humoticons app for Facebook works like this: users stick their head in a blue circle (by way of a webcam taking snapshots of their 'expressions') and hey presto! You've just invented your own humoticon. For those wanting to transform their talent into a moving art form, there's an option for users to have up to five photos taken of their face in order to produce a low-quality .gif animation.

Whilst on paper it may seem like quite a fun idea, there's only one drawback - we're not using paper. Emoticons for the well-travelled Internet voyager are a way of virtual life, using an abundance of funny faces to express ourselves when words fail us. Besides, if we wanted to make the web a little more human, we could do it the old-fashioned way - and just meet up in person.

Source: Forbes (opens in new tab)

Mariel Norton is a self-confessed girly geek with a penchant for technology, and previously wrote for ITProPortal, with experience on TheNextWeb, UKFast, WorldRemit, Virgin Media, Google, and more.