Bring Your Facebook Messages to Life

Images can make your messages fun and entertaining

Using Facebook chat email emojis

Tim Bennett / Unsplash

Adding images such as emojis, emoticons, stickers, or GIFs can liven up a message by conveying 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 in Facebook Messenger, and how to add them to your messages.

Instructions in this article apply to the web and mobile versions of the Facebook Messenger app.

Stickers

Sometimes animated but generally just illustrations, these character images show how you feel or add personality to chats in Facebook Messenger. Facebook has made a slew of fun stickers available. Stickers add fun and entertainment to your messages.

To access stickers, select the Stickers icon located below the text box (it looks like a page with a turned corner). Click a sticker to add it to the message. When using Messenger on a desktop PC, stickers are categorized by emotions and activities including Happy, In Love, and Eating.

Screenshot of stickers in Facebook Messenger desktop chat

On either desktop or mobile, access more options by clicking the Plus (+) sign which appears either at the top or lower-right corner of the app depending on the device. There are hundreds of options, and many are animated.

Emojis

Emojis are a set of characters that render as images on most operating systems including iOS, Android, Windows, and OS X. These images portray emotions and activities. Emojis add fun to a variety of situations involving communication. You can order takeout by emoji, get news by emoji, and read an emoji-translated version of the Bible.

Despite the wide variety of emojis that are available, there is a limited set for Facebook Messenger on a desktop. To access them, click the Emoji icon located under the text box (it looks like a Happy Face).

If you want to use an emoji that is not available natively within Facebook Messenger, visit this emoji list, copy an emoji, then paste it in the Messenger text box.

On a mobile device, go to Messenger, tap the Aa icon under the text box, then tap Emoji (the Happy Face icon) on the phone keyboard to access the emojis. You'll have access to the full set. Tap the emoji of your choice to add it to the message.

Screenshot of emojis in Facebook Messenger

GIFs

GIFs are animated images or video snippets which usually depict a silly situation. Adding a GIF adds humor to a message. GIFs often feature celebrities in silly situations or activities and are used frequently on social media to portray emotions.

In Facebook Messenger, click or tap the GIF icon under the text box. In the list of GIFs, choose an image or search for a topic or subject to add to the message.

Screenshot of Facebook Messenger gifs

Emoticons

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 were introduced in the early days of the internet when there was little, if any, support for images. Computer scientists used characters on the keyboard to create faces with a variety of expressions. For instance, a colon followed by a closing parenthesis — :) — is a common emoticon representing a smiley face.

Facebook Emoticon Keyboard Shortcuts

To use the set of emoticons available in Facebook Messenger, enter the characters from the keyboard into the Facebook Messenger text box. Enter these character the same way you type a message.

Here's a list of keyboard shortcuts and the type of emoticon that appears:

  • :) — 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 messages fun and entertaining with the variety of images available with Facebook Messenger. Have fun!