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Here’s the deal with those colorful status updates on Facebook

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If your Facebook News Feed is looking a bit more colorful recently, there’s good reason: The company is thirsty for your precious personal content.

Facebook has been rolling out a new way to post status updates since the end of last year. Write something in the “What’s on your mind?” box and you’ll be prompted to select a background color for the text, which gives the post a much more prominent slice of real estate in the News Feed.

The feature was originally exclusive to Android, but it’s hitting iOS and desktop now. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Mashable that most users around the world should have the feature as of Thursday.

So, to be completely clear, this is a first-party Facebook feature and not the product of some third-party app. The text is still highlight-and-copyable — it’s not a static image. If you want it but don’t have it, you’ll just have to wait for it to be enabled on your Facebook account. That should happen soon.

Facebook is desperately scrounging for ways to get users to create and post original content. Theoretically, the social network is about connecting with your friends — getting users hooked on consuming and sharing details from their personal life rather than posts from media outlets or brands is key to Facebook’s bottom line.

Beyond that, the social network is up against Snapchat, which gives users a ton of creative ways to express themselves. In a sense, the colorful statuses check two boxes: They encourage original sharing, and they give users a new toy to play with.

The only problem? They’re pretty damn ugly. Still, don’t be surprised when they come to a News Feed near you.


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