See that? That's a new feature on Facebook's status box, which has started to roll out this morning after earlier testing in January. It's also covering up a pretty depressing note from a friend underneath, who would've undoubtedly selected "sad" if he were to have recognized said feature before posting a conventional status update. For now, it appears that the emotion selection tool is only hitting select US-based users, as our European contingent has yet to see it appear on their profiles. Essentially, a smiley face has been added to the right of the photo button, and pressing it gives you a quick way to update your status -- you can share an emotion, or what you're watching / listening to / reading / drinking / eating.
It seems as if Facebook wants to funnel conversations a bit; instead of only giving you free rein to blabber in a status box, it'd much rather you update with a linked artist, television show or product. That way, said entity gets included in any conversations you have, and the great revenue wheel begins to spin. At any rate, feel free to check your own page and play around with the new functionality. Then shoot us an emoticon in comments to let us know how you're feeling about it.
Gallery: Facebook emoticon update