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Facebook says the feature was ‘not ready for takeoff.’
Eagle-eyed Facebook users may have noticed something curious Tuesday in the reactions to some posts on the social network. In addition to the app’s normal post reactions—Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry—some saw that it was possible to react to posts with a plane.
That’s right. Instead of expressing anger at the latest political headline your uncle shared, you could simply share an emoji of an airplane (at least in theory).
Some sites explained how to get the plane reaction for yourself, but it was a little tricky. First, you needed to update your Facebook app to the latest version. Then you had to go into your phone’s settings and clearing the app’s cache. Finally, when you went to react on a post, you’d see not one but two angry face reaction icons. By clicking the second one, an airplane emoji would appear as your reaction instead.
Some were reportedly able to access the plane reaction on the desktop, but for most, it was a mobile-only phenomenon. The Daily Dot was unable to replicate it on a desktop or Facebook’s smartphone app.
Given the awkwardness of rolling an ambiguous plane reaction into the Facebook experience, it comes as no surprise that it’s not a new feature.
“This was created as part of an employee hackathon and wasn’t cleared for takeoff,” a Facebook representative told The Daily Dot. “Our apologies.”
Bummer. Realistically, when, how, and why you’d want to use a plane reaction to a post would be a big question mark. But like any emoji, we’re sure Facebook users would figure out some way for the reaction to make sense—or at the very least, cause some laughs.
If you’ve got the ability to share a plane emoji, enjoy it while it lasts.
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Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.