Light & Verity

Embracing technology

A Yale alumna offers a social-media hug.

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When COVID-19 and social distancing changed the world, Misbah Uraizee ’13 thought people could use a hug—even if only a digital one. A product manager at Facebook, Uraizee had been working with her team since November on a new reaction icon, one that would convey support in situations where Facebook’s “like,” “love,” or “sad” wouldn’t do. Once the pandemic hit, they accelerated the development of the “care” reaction, considering other metaphors (a flower, maybe?) before settling on a face hugging a heart. Uraizee also directed another Facebook response to the pandemic: in just six weeks, the company built Rooms, a video-conferencing platform on Facebook Messenger to compete with Zoom. Uraizee says being a product manager, which involves working with engineering, design, and research teams, suits her. “It’s a great fit for a Yalie,” she says, “because it’s super-interdisciplinary.”

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