Facebook Celebrates Star Trek’s 50th

Lindsey Shepard
Sep 8, 2016 · 3 min read

When we caught wind that Star Trek would be celebrating 50 years this month, it got our wheels turning. We wanted to mark this fun, nostalgic moment and help the passionate community of Star Trek fans celebrate in some unique ways on Facebook.
On September 8, people in the United States and Canada who’ve expressed interest in Star Trek or science fiction might see a personalized greeting from Facebook to mark the 50th anniversary of the series. The greeting features the USS Enterprise and invites people to add a custom Star Trek frame to their profile picture. Our internal design team built the USS Enterprise image by cutting and piecing together paper by hand. Then they photographed it using a high quality camera so that it could appear in our greeting. Here are some behind the scenes photos of the “construction” of the USS Enterprise:

In addition to the greeting and profile frames, we decided to add another element to the celebration with custom Star Trek reactions. 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. 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.
In our custom set of reactions, “like” stays true to form but with a little added sparkle, and “love” is represented by the Vulcan salute. We also think it makes sense that Kirk, as the first captain, is first up after “like” and “love,” and that a Klingon should be the “angry” reaction given that they are easily agitated.
These reactions will be available to some Star Trek fans in the US and Canada for a limited time, and will appear when you hover over the Like button on a post.

This project has truly been a labor of love. We hope that people find as much joy in using these different celebratory elements as we have in creating them. We may test experiences like this in the future, and will focus on community and moment-driven events like this one.

Live long and prosper.

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