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Turn (almost) any photo into a Facebook Chat emoticon


Facebook's Chat feature is great and all, but it always seemed to lack any truly amazing emoticons. That's not a problem anymore though, because the social network decided to give us the ability to turn just about any photo into a chat emoticon.

I say "just about" because you are limited to images which are used as the profile photo of a person, group or company — though he, she or it doesn't have to be a friend of yours.

Once you've gotten your brain wrapped around that limitation, here's what you have to do in order to use any available image as an emoticon:

  1. Go to a profile (or page) which uses the photo you want as its profile image.
  2. Take a close look at the profile (or page) URL. Make note of the profile ID (this could be a custom username or a long string of numbers).
  3. Stick that profile ID between double brackets while chatting or messaging people on Facebook.
  4. Watch the profile ID (and the double brackets) get converted into the corresponding image as soon as you send a message to someone.

This means that if you want to use a photo of teen heartthrob Justin Bieber, you could type "[[JustinBieber]]" into a message. (The "JustinBieber" text corresponds to the profile ID of his official Facebook page.)

If you wanted a very basic smilie face, you could type "[[322080934472296]]" into a message. (This profile ID corresponds to a test page I've set up while writing another post.)

Simple, no?

If you're at a loss as to which silly images to use as emoticons, the folks at TechCrunch have a little list of profile IDs to get you started. But be careful: Someone could easily change the profile images corresponding to those profile IDs at any time and leave you a bit embarrassed — so be sure to check whether a profile's main image is still what you want to use before typing its ID into a chat.

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