Bring Your Facebook Messages to Life

Images can make your messages fun and entertaining

Emoticons, emojis, stickers and gifs in Facebook Messenger.
Emoticons, emojis, stickers and GIFs can be used in Facebook Messenger to bring your message to life. Getty Images/Agustinc

You can use images to add emotion to your Facebook messages.

Facebook Messenger makes it easy to interact with your friends and family on Facebook. And, now there are more options than ever for adding images to your messages. Adding images — whether they be emojis, emoticons, stickers, or GIFs — can liven up your message by helping you to convey emotions and activities in a visually appealing way that the recipient of your message will enjoy.

Here's your guide to understanding what images are available, and how to add them to your messages.


As Facebook explains it, "Stickers are illustrations or animations of characters that you can send to friends. They’re a great way to share how you’re feeling and add personality to your chats." That is certainly the case, as Facebook has made a slew of fun stickers available for you to use. To access them, click (or tap on a mobile device) on the single "happy face" underneath the text-entry area in Facebook Messenger. Once you click, you'll be able to access a variety of choices — and on ​a desktop you'll find that the stickers are categorized by emotions and activities including "happy," "in love," and "eating." On either desktop or mobile, you can access more options by clicking the "+" sign which appears either at the top or lower right side of the app depending on what device you are using.

There are literally hundreds of options, and many of them are animated. Stickers are a great way to add fun and entertainment to your messages.


Emojis are all the rage. These little images have become extremely popular, and are increasingly being used to portray both emotions as well as activities.

Emojis are a set of characters that render as images on most operating systems including iOS, Android, Windows and OS X. There are nearly 2,000 emojis in existence, with new ones being introduced frequently. In fact, in June 2016, 72 new emojis were introduced, including an avocado, a gorilla, and a clown face

Emojis are being used to add fun to a wide variety of situations involving communication. You can order takeout by emoji, get your news by emoji, and even read an emoji-translated version of the bible.  

Despite the wide variety of emojis that are available, there is a limited set provided within Facebook Messenger on a desktop. To access them, click on the icon containing four faces under the text-entry box. If you want to use an emoji that is not available natively within Facebook Messenger, you can pull up this page, copy the emoji that you'd like to use, and paste it into the text-entry box within Messenger. On a mobile device, tap the "Aa" icon under the text entry box in Messenger, and then tap on the "happy face" icon on your phone's keyboard to access the emojis. You should have access to the full set by using this method and can just tap the emoji of your choice to add it to your message.



GIFs are animated images or video snippets which usually depict a silly situation. Adding a GIF is a great way to add humor to your message. Within Facebook Messenger, click or tap on the "GIF" icon  under the text-entry box. That will bring up a variety of GIFs that you can choose from, as well as a search box in case you'd like to look for a specific topic or subject matter to add to your message. GIFs often feature celebrities in silly situations or activities and are used frequently on social media to portray emotions.


So what exactly is an emoticon? According to The Guardian, "An emoticon is a typographic display of a facial representation, used to convey emotion in a text only medium." Shorthand for "emotion icon," emoticons rose from the early days of the internet when there was little, if any, support for images, and were invented by computer scientists who used characters on their keyboard to create "faces" with a variety of expressions. For instance, a colon followed by a comma is a common emoticon representing a smiley face. :) 

Today there is a set of emoticons that are available within Facebook Messenger. To use them, simply type the characters from your keyboard into the text-entry field of Facebook Messenger (just as you would if you were typing a message). Below is a list of keyboard shortcuts and a description of what kind of image will show up as a result of entering them.

Facebook Emoticon Keyboard Shortcuts

:) - happy

:( - sad

:P - tongue

:D - grin

:O - gasp

;) - wink

8) and B) - sunglasses

>:( - grumpy

:/ - unsure

3:) - devil

O:) - angel

:-* - kiss

^_^ - very happy

-_- - squint

>:O - upset

<3 - heart

It's easy to make your messages fun and entertaining with the variety of images available in Facebook Messenger. Have fun!

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