Using Facebook Emoji and Smileys

Add a little personality to your status updates

Picture of a keyboard with emoticons
Smileys and Emoticons for Facebook. Dimitri Otis/Getty Images

Facebook smileys and emoji have grown easier to use over the years as the social network has added clickable menus that make it easy for users to insert fun faces, symbols, and objects without having to know any code.

In the early days, Facebook users had a limited selection of emoticons, but now there's a huge menu full of emoji you can pick from when making status updates, posting comments, and chatting in private messages.

How to Add Facebook Emoji to a Status Update

Facebook has a drop-down menu for emoji in the status publishing box.

  1. Start by composing a new Facebook status update. Click inside the What's on your mind? status box and enter whatever you'd like to include in your update, or leave it blank if you want to send only emoji.
  2. Click the small Smiley Face icon on the bottom right side of the update status area to open a new menu.
  3. Select any emoji you want to include in your Facebook status. You can click through each category at the bottom of the menu to quickly jump to other kinds of emoji or scroll through the huge list and take your time picking your favorites. When you're done adding emoji to the text box, click the little Smiley Face again to close the menu and continue updating your post if you want to by adding text behind or in front of any emoji.
  4. When you're all done, click the Post button to post the emoji and your status update for all your Facebook friends to see.

Note: The Facebook mobile app does not support emoji exactly like the ones you see in the desktop version. However, most phones have built-in support for emoji. Look for a Smiley Face icon near the status update area. Tap it to insert an emoji on your mobile device.

How to Use Emoji in Facebook Comments and Private Messages

Emoji are also accessible in the comments section on Facebook as well as in private messages on Facebook and Messenger:

  1. Click inside the comment box wherever you want to post the emoji.
  2. Use the small Smiley Face icon to the right of the comment box to open the emoji menu. Select one or more emoji, and they are instantly inserted into the comment box.
  3. Click the Smiley Face icon again to close the menu and finish writing the comment. You can add text anywhere you like, before or after the emoji, or skip using text altogether. Post the comment normally using the Enter key.

If you're using Messenger on your computer or have a message open in Facebook, the emoji menu is just below the textbox.

Using the Messenger app on your phone or tablet? You can get to the emoji menu in nearly the same way:

  1. Tap to open the conversation you want to use an emoji in or start a brand new one.
  2. Choose the small Smiley Face icon to the right of the text box.
  3. In the new menu that shows below the text box, go into the Emoji tab.
  4. Select an emoji or choose multiple ones by continuing to tap them without leaving the menu.
  5. Tap the Smiley Face again to close the menu and continue editing your message.
  6. Tap the Send button to send the message with emoji.

Other Image-Sharing Options

When you're posting a status update on Facebook, there's a menu of items just below the text box and emoji menu that you might be interested in.

Most of these options have nothing to do with emoji and let you do things like tag friends in the post, start a poll, and check in to a nearby location.

However, if you want to post a picture instead of a small emoticon-like icon, use the Photo/Video button. Similarly, the GIF and Sticker options are helpful if you want to add those to your status update instead of an emoji or in addition to an emoji.

If you're using the Facebook mobile app, find the Feeling/Activity/Sticker option below the status text box or the Smiley Face icon next to the comment text box to insert those kinds of icons and images if your device doesn't support the emoji you're after.