Facebook Emoticons & Symbols


Facebook is a ubiquitous social networking website, with more than 750 million users. When communicating with friends on Facebook, emoticons allow you to personalize your communication. Facebook offers several graphical emoticons, supports special characters and even allows users to create pictures using text art. Additionally many third-party developers have apps available that support a wider array of emoticons.

Graphical Emoticons

  • An emoticon is a set of keyboard symbols arranged to resemble a human emotion, such as the smiley-face emoticon -- :). Facebook allows users to insert emoticons into messages, status updates or into Facebook Chat. By default, Facebook transforms select emoticon symbols into graphical smiley faces. Graphical emoticons only currently work in Facebook Chat. Creating a graphical emoticon requires that you type out the emoticon symbols, then send the message; once you send the message, Facebook transforms the symbols into a graphical icon.

Emoticon Apps

  • In addition to Facebook's supported emoticon symbols, you can download and install special applications, or apps, on your Facebook profile, which allow you to create a wider array of emoticon symbols on Facebook. Emoticon apps often require that your friends have the same application installed to be able to view the emoticons you post using the app. Unlike the normally supported graphical emoticon from Facebook, apps -- depending on the design of the app -- may allow you to post emoticons in your Facebook status or in messages to others.

Keyboard Symbols

  • You can create special keyboard symbols by pressing the "Alt" key along with a number combination on the numeric keypad. For example, by pressing the "Alt" key and the "3" key on your numeric keypad, you can create a heart symbol. You can share keyboard symbols in messages, in status updates or in Facebook Chat. Additionally, you can use the Windows Character Map or the Mac Keyboard Viewer to insert special keyboard symbols into your Facebook communications.

Text Art

  • ASCII art or text art is a special type of art that uses normal keyboard characters such as dashes, periods, letters and numbers to create an image. Several websites offer text-art pictures that other users have designed, only requiring that you copy and paste the text into Facebook. Because text art usually only consists of normal keyboard characters, you can insert it into Facebook messages, status updates or even into Facebook Chat. When using text art, the image may not turn out correctly for other users because of font limitations.

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