Facebook is adding a rainbow flag reaction to its reaction options for a limited time in honor of Pride month. The rainbow flag emoji will join thumbs up, hearts, shocked, and sad to let people show their support for the LGBTQ community. To unlock the new reaction, users must like the LGBTQ@Facebook page and be located in cities that host annual Pride celebrations.
The company also released a handful of other Pride-themed features on its website, Messenger and Instagram this week. These include Pride-themed profile frames and masks, a rainbow brush to add to photos on Instagram, and a selection of rainbow-colored filters and effects to use in Messenger Camera. The Facebook News Feed will also feature stories from the LGBTQ community during June.
In addition, Instagram partnered with GLAAD to identify the hashtags that people in the LGBTQ community frequently use, and will apply a rainbow gradient to those hashtags on Instagram Stories throughout Pride month. And on Facebook, users can create a fundraiser to raise money for their favorite LGBTQ nonprofit or community.
Despite the positive efforts by companies to promote inclusivity during Pride month, some have raised concerns that the rainbow-washing of products and ads is just another form of advertising that exploits marginalized communities for short-term sales. Others have criticized companies for using Pride as a marketing tool when they have taken actions in the past that contradict their stated support for LGBTQ rights.