Facebook has just added emoticons to its instant messenger. Before, users had to use characters to create faces. Now, there is a menu in the bottom right of the chat window that allows you to choose from a selection of emoticons to add to your chat.
Facebook added typical emoticons, but also added some custom ones, such as the “thumbs up” image that represents Facebook’s Like button.
Since Facebook Chat connects over 900 million people, emoticons can help users overcome language barriers and communicate more efficiently. Facebook also hopes to allow kids under the age of 13 to use the site; having emoticons could make Facebook more kid-friendly.
Right now there are 21 emoticons in the menu, including the standard frown and wink, as well as a heart, devil, and the Like icon. If you click on one, the text code will be added to your chat. You can still add a friend’s face into the chat by putting their name in double brackets.
Currently, there is no emoticon menu in the formal Messages section or in the mobile app.