Some good news for Facebook addicts who always wondered whether it is possible to use the profile photo of anyone as an emoticon in a Facebook chat message. The answer is a clear “Yes”, even for people you aren’t friends with.
When you are chatting with any of your Facebook friends and want to use the profile photo of any Facebook user, page or event as an emoticon, follow these steps:
1. Copy the vanity URL of the user whose Facebook profile photo you want to use as an emoticon. For example: if you want to use the profile image of ROFL simply copy “ROFL” (without quotes).
2. Some fan pages or event pages have a unique ID associated with their URL. Copy the page ID if the vanity URL is not available.
3. Enclose the vanity string or the number within double brackets e.g [[ROFL]].
4. Hit send. The double bracketed text will convert into an emoticon of the user whose vanity URL was enclosed within double brackets. Sweet!
Here are a couple of examples I tried with my friend Jatin on Facebook chat and it worked as advertised:
As long as your Facebook profile is publicly viewable and people know the vanity URL of your Facebook profile, page or event, anyone can use the profile photo as an emoticon. Locked pages or groups, which requires an invitation to join, shows a blank white thumbnail but such is not the case with real Facebook users.
These profile emoticons are viewable from web only and does not work in mobile apps e.g the messenger app on Android or the official Facebook application for Android. You can send the emoticons from mobile and the web but the thumbnails will only appear when you are viewing the chat log from the web. An example is shown below:
This new profile emoticons may actually redefine “online personification”. Two people conversing on Facebook and frequently using their friends profile emoticons e.g “why are you behaving like [[mr X]]?” or “you sound so much like [[Ms Z]]”. The best line I have heard until now, comes from Josh - “Don’t be such a Justin bieber”.