Emoticons no longer have to be anonymous smiley faces representing simple emotions. Facebook Chat now lets you use the profile picture of any user, official Page, or event on the service as an emoticon. That means you can make one out of your best friend, Chuck Norris, Justin Bieber, Barack Obama or anyone else. This opens up a whole new way to express complex emotions. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to any profile, official Page, or event that you want to use as an emoticon.
- Look at the URL. Find the username or profile ID at the end of the URL such as “VinDiesel” from http://www.facebook.com/VinDiesel, “JoshConstine”, “cocacola”, or “45197362282”
- Place that name or number in double brackets like [[VinDiesel]]
- Enter that into a Facebook Chat or Message field. When you send it, the bracketed number or letters will appear as that person, Page, or event’s current profile picture.
You can send these custom emoticons from the web or mobile, but they’ll only display as photos on the web. When viewed through a Facebook app or mobile site they appear as their bracketed string. Similarly, you can’t use them in status updates, wall posts, or comments yet. They appear pretty small, but you can hover over the photos to view the username it belongs too. Community Pages, those that aren’t owned by anyone and that display a Wikipedia entry, can’t be used.
Not so excited about other people using you as an emoticon? Tough luck. Profile pictures and usernames are public, so this doesn’t technically violate privacy and there’s no way to opt out of having your face used.
For a long time, Facebook only had one custom smiley. The code :putnam: would show the face of Facebook engineer Chris Putnam. Now you can replace verbs, nouns, and adjectives with whoever represents them best. As our writer John Biggs described yesterday, you can use 4Chan Ragefaces (here are the codes), and Reddit user Sky_Prodigy spawned a thread full of codes for faces and alphabets.
The emoticon has evolved.
Here’s a few ideas for people and Pages you could use as emoticons. Just copy the bracketed text at the end. Have ideas for more? Leave them in the comments and I’ll add the best ones to our list:
- Badass – (Chuck Norris) []
- Eloquence – [[WilliamShakespeare1]]
- Pirate – [[CaptainJackSparrow]]
- President, leadership – [[barackobama]]
- Bro – [[DJPAULYD]]
- Male attractiveness – (Ryan Gosling) []
- Boyishness – [[JustinBieber]]
- Relaxation – [[BobMarley]]
- Condescension, judgment – [[simoncowell]]
- Adventure, auto theft – [[VinDiesel]]
- Brilliance, controversial brilliance – [[Zuck]]
- Loudmouth – [[theuncrunched]]
- Greed – [[DonaldTrump]]
- Drunk – (David Hasselhoff) []
- Santa Claus – [[TheMagicOfSantaClaus]]
- Terrible art – [[Nickelback]]
- Winning – [[CharlieSheen]]
- Disapproval – Fry from Futurama [[]