Facebook emoticons in comments or replies to news feed posts were introduced for the first time in October 2012. Facebook smileys and emoticons were added to status updates less than a year later.
What Are Facebook Smileys and Emoticons?
Emoticons are those tiny smiley faces and similar graphical images used to convey emotion in text-based conversations. They were previously allowed only in Facebook's chat and messenger apps, and were not offered in the main Facebook news feed until they rolled out in comment replies.
Facebook finally started also allowing emoticons and smileys in status updates in the spring of 2013. It also made them available on the native Facebook app for iPhones the same year.
Smileys To Go Mainstream?
It remains to be seen how popular smileys for Facebook comments and status updates will be.
The icons or images available for use in Facebook comments are basically the same ones allowed in the Facebook Chat app. There are more than two dozen different icons, which are also called smileys.
A lot more people make comments in the news feed than use the Facebook real-time chat app, so it's possible we could all be seeing a LOT more smileys on Facebook.
But Face book emoticons aren't likely to be used as widely in comments as they are in chat, because Facebook doesn't offer a graphical emoticon menu for comments like it does for chat and status updates. So instead of just clicking on the smiley icon you want to insert into a comment, you have to know the code required to generate it -- or go look it up for the particular emoticon you want to use.
How Facebook Emoticon Code Works in Comments
Each smiley or emoticon has its own text "code"-- a series of characters and symbols-- which you must type in the comments box in order to make that particular graphical icon show up in your comment or reply. When you type the code correctly, the text will change to the little smiley automatically the moment you post it. Type "3:-)" for example, and a laughing devil's face should appear in the comments box after you post. These Facebook emoticons codes also are known as shortcuts.
A lot of smileys are dorky, of course. They're often popular with young people, and some research has suggested women use emoticons more than men.
But a lot of people dislike these tiny graphical images and view them as juvenile or even unprofessional.
One non-face icon that some people find useful is the familiar blue Facebook thumbs-up image; the code to generate it is simply a y in parenthesis, as in (y). It's a way of liking something without having it count as an official Facebook "like."
Two that are fairly recent and fun (if meaningless) are the penguin-- <(") -- and shark-- (^^^). Another fun one is the robot head-- :|].
A lot of emoticons have multiple shortcut codes because you can use different codes to tweak the face, such as adding a nose. Some codes have to be typed as either upper or lower case; while still others are not case sensitive at all.
Sample Facebook Smileys for Comments and Their Emoticon Codes
Emoticon Name, Followed by Shortcut Code
- smile :-) :) :] =)
- wink ;-) ;)
- grin :-D :D =D
- kiss :-* :*
- grumpy >:( >:-(
- glasses 8-) 8) B-) B)
- sunglasses 8-| 8| B-| B|
- upset >:O >:-O >:o >:-o
- confused o.O O.o
- pacman :v
- unsure :/ :-/ :\ :-\
- frown :-( :( :[ =(
- cry :'(
- heart <3
- angel O:) O:-)
Turning Off Facebook Emoticons
If you hate emoticons with a passion and want to banish them from appearing in any comments on your news feed, you can do it if you're willing to learn a little geeky stuff.