How to make little pictures on Facebook chat

Written by clare edwards
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How to make little pictures on Facebook chat
You can add emoticons to your Facebook chats. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Facebook is a social networking site with a built-in chat function. You can use this to exchange instant messages with other Facebook users. The chat program is designed to parse certain text strings as smiley faces, symbols and other small pictures; when you type in the correct text string, the picture appears and the person you are chatting to can see it. You can use these to add humour, emphasis or emotion to your Facebook chats. The set of pictures you can make is limited to those provided by Facebook; not all text smileys will turn into graphics.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Facebook account with at least one friend
  • Firefox browser (optional)

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  1. 1

    Launch your browser and navigate to Facebook. Log in with your username or e-mail and password. Open a chat session with one of your friends.

  2. 2

    Type smiley character strings to make standard emoticons.

    Type :) to make a happy face;

    :( to make a frown;

    :p to make a face with the tongue out;

    :D to make a big grin;

    :O to make a gasping face;

    ;) for a winking face;

    8) to make a geeky smiley with glasses;

    8| to make a sunglasses smiley face;

    >:( to make an angry face;

    :\ for an unsure emoticon;

    :'( to make a crying face;

    3:) to make a devil smiley;

    O:) for an angel smiley;

    :-* for a kiss emoticon;

    ^_^ to make a kiki or Japanese-style smiley;

    -_- for a squinting emoticon;

    O.o for a dazed smiley;

    >:o for an upset smiley;

    :3 to make a contented emoticon;

    :v to make a Pacman smiley. (See References 1)

  3. 3

    Type special character strings to make other pictures and symbols.

    Type :Putnam: to add a small picture of Facebook engineer Chris Putnam.

    Type 42 to bring up a white 42 on a red background.

    Type <3 to make a heart symbol.

    Type :|] to make a robot smiley.

    Type (^^^) for a shark and <(") for a penguin. (See References 1)

Tips and warnings

  • You can add a small piece of code to Firefox which displays all the possible smileys at the top of Facebook's chat window. This lets you click on the smiley you want rather than typing it in.
  • The 42 graphic is probably a reference to Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series of books, in which the answer to life, the Universe and everything was "42." (See References 2 & 3)

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