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:
- Go to a profile (or page) which uses the photo you want as its profile image.
- 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).
- Stick that profile ID between double brackets while chatting or messaging people on Facebook.
- 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'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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