When Star Trek first began beaming to television sets across the country in 1966, there was of course no way to watch clips on YouTube, live tweet episodes or "like" the show on Facebook.
Today, after five decades of living long and prospering, Facebook is honoring the 50th anniversary of the series with a custom set of reaction buttons.
For a limited time, some (but not all) Facebook users in the U.S. and Canada will be able see iconic characters from the series replacing the standard buttons. "Love" changes to the Vulcan salute, Captain Kirk replaces "haha," "wow" becomes Spock, Geordi La Forge is "sad," and a Klingon is "angry."
"In order to make this understood by all Star Trek fans, we chose the most iconic and recognizable characters and symbols from the original Star Trek series, as well as the Next Generation," Lindsey Shepard, Facebook Messenger's marketing lead, wrote in a post on Medium. "We also wanted to honor the original design and spirit of Reactions, so we needed visual cues that were easy to identify at a glance, like Geordi's visor. This led us to our final cast: Kirk, Spock, Geordi and a Klingon."
Shepard also noted that Facebook could use the feature again in the future. Without mentioning specifics, she said additional experiences will focus on "community and moment-driven events."
Now, if only Facebook could invent teleportation, maybe we could all stop digitally poking each other and go have a face-to-face hangout on one of the moons of Nibia.