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Home / Social Media / A Complete Guide To Facebook Symbols & What They All Mean

A Complete Guide To Facebook Symbols & What They All Mean

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Have you ever noticed how many little Facebook symbols are scattered throughout the Facebook landscape? There has to be a Facebook team in some back cubicle at headquarters just thinking up what little image Facebook could offer next.

Whatever the reason for so many little images, the one thing it can do is cause a bit of confusion for newcomers. While many of the tiny icons are self-explanatory, for many people who are not only new to Facebook but also new to computers, some of these images can be a real mystery.

In the past, here at MUO, we’ve helped new users navigate through Facebook. Rob showed you the most recent Facebook Messenger features. And Dan showed you the ins and outs of following and followers on Facebook. Today, I’m going to put together a quick reference guide that you can use when one of those little Facebook symbols really has you stumped.

Simple Facebook Symbols

I’ve separated all of these Facebook Symbols into two groups – the common icons most people recognize, and then the obscure ones a lot of people don’t know about.

  • facebook symbols and meaningsOne of the most recognizable images both inside and outside of Facebook – this is the famous “Like” icon. You can Like a status update, quote, link, image or anything else? Click this image and let everyone know.
  • symbols on facebookAt the top of your Facebook home page, you’ll notice three dark icons. The image of earth represents your notification list of all of the latest updates from your friends, as well as your favorite pages and groups.
  • symbols on facebookClick on this little conversation bubble icon, and you’ll see a dropdown box displaying the latest Facebook messages you’ve received.
  • symbols on facebookFinally, the last image at the top of the home page is the “Friend Request” icon. Click on this, and if you have any new friend requests, they’ll show up in a drop-down box.

The following icons are well known by most Facebook users, so I won’t waste much time on them.

Above your edit field, you’ll see three symbols; a pen (to edit the post), a computer (to add a photo or video to your post) or a video camera (to capture live video for your post).

Starting from the upper-left under the edit field, you’ll see the icon for sharing photos or videos (either captured live or from files saved on your computer or mobile device). To the right of that you’ve got the “Feeling/Activity” icon where you can share with everyone how you’re feeling right now.

facebook symbols

Next row on the left is the “Check in” icon which lets you use your GPS (or selected) location to share where you’re located with your Facebook friends. To the right of that is the “Tag Friends” icon where you can tag any of your friends you’ve mentioned in your post or your shared photo.

Finally, there’s the “Sticker” icon, which is a lot like the “Feelings” icon, except that when you click on it, you can apply a big (some would say gaudy) sticker/picture from a pre-made list of “stickers” you can choose from.

Click on any one of these icons to add that type of content to your wall.

By the way — if you want to see the largest collection of Facebook symbols anywhere, while you’re editing or creating a post, just click on the “emoji” face to the lower left of the edit field.

Yes, this is where you find smiley faces everyone uses. But as you can see from the row of other icons, you can find pages and pages of emoji. You’ll find everything from animals and electronics to sports and flags. Have fun!

Dealing With Facebook Posts

The last few most common icons are the ones that show up in the box below, when you click the down arrow to the upper right of a post.

This window appears with different options depending on where the post is and who posted it. In the example above, the post was published by someone else and shows up on my timeline. The top icon “Hide post” lets you let Facebook now you don’t like the post and want to see fewer posts from that person. Or if you don’t want to see anything at all from that person, you can click the next icon down to “Unfollow” the person.

The third icon down is the comment bubble with an exclamation. This is to report the post to Facebook as troublesome. The next icon is to save the post to your Facebook bookmarks. The globe icon is to enable notifications so if anyone posts a comment, you’ll get a notification for it. And finally, the last icon is to get code that will let you embed the post anywhere else outside of Facebook.

If you click the down arrow at the upper right of one of your own posts, you’ll have many more options — but none of them include any special Facebook symbols.

These are just options to change the post in some way, or even delete it entirely.

Just above the post, next to your name, you’ll see an icon of two people with a small arrow to the right. Click on the arrow and you’ll see another window like the one below.

This is an important dropdown, because it allows you to set the privacy level of your posts. This is something too few people pay attention to — but it can mean the difference between things being seen only by family and friends, or by the entire internet.

If you click the top globe icon, your post will be visible to the whole web. If you click any of the icons below it, you can set it to only show up for your immediate friends, friends of friends, or you can actually block the post from specific friends if you want to.

Dealing with Facebook Messenger Symbols

As if it wasn’t bad enough that in order to use Facebook Messenger on your phone or tablet, you have to download a whole separate app, we also have these new Facebook Messenger symbols to contend with. We like simplicity here at The Debrief so we’ll get straight to the point with a breakdown of what all the symbols on Facebook Messenger mean. You are so welcome.

(i) Your message is sending

Facebook Messenger Symbols: What Do They Mean?

This blue outline circle depicts that your message is still trying to leave your phone.

(ii) Your message has been sent

Facebook Messenger Symbols: What Do They Mean?

The blue outline circle with a blue tick in it means that the message has left you and is pending receipt from the other party.

(iii) Your message has been delivered

Facebook Messenger Symbols: What Do They Mean?

The complete blue circle with a white tick in it means that the message has arrived to its destination but you don’t know if it has been seen by the recipient.

(iv) Your message has been seen

Facebook Messenger Symbols: What Do They Mean?

When your friend’s small round profile picture appears next to the message, you have proof that your message has been read/seen by your Facebook friend, so you can now start to get the hump if they take their sweet ass time messaging you back.

Note: These icons are blue when you are actually in a particular Facebook chat. When looking at these icons from your friends list, these sybols will appear grey.

To check the status of your sent messages on Facebook Messenger, there are 4 symbols you need to know about.

Obscure Facebook Symbols

The next batch of Facebook symbols are well known to regular Facebook users, but may not be quite as recognizable to brand new users. How many of these do you recognize?

If you scroll down on your main profile page and look to the left, you’ll see an “Explore” area in the left navigation bar. There are many unusual icons here.

The blue circle with images of people represents “Groups” on Facebook that you can join. The Calendar page is to find events in your area (or online events) posted on Facebook. The flag icon is where you’ll find Facebook Pages that might interest you. The white square with blue people images is where you can go to set up or edit your Friend Lists. The red ribbon is where you’ll find all the posts and pages you’ve saved.

The wrench is to add or remove apps from your Facebook account. The small game screen is fairly obvious — it’s where you’ll find Facebook Games to play. The blue chart is the Ads Manager dashboard, which is a special Facebook area for online publishers and other Facebook advertisers. And the clock with an arrow around it is “On This Day“, where you’ll find posts you made many years ago, on today’s date.

If you click on See More, you’ll see the icons above, in the following order:

  • Fundraisers – where you can donate money to worthy causes (or start your own).
  • Live Video – Where you can find all sorts of random live video published on Facebook (or stream your own)
  • Pokes – Where you can see who poked you or poke someone (I really wish Facebook would get rid of this feature…).
  • Pages Feed – A feed of all activity from your Liked pages.
  • Games Feed – A feed of all activity from your games.
  • Suggest Edits – You can improve information about places around you by sharing information you know about them with Facebook.
  • Notes – Did you know you can basically write a blog post on Facebook? Yup, that’s what a Note is
  • Photos – A collection of all of your photos and albums.
  • Offers – Your collection of saved company offers from Facebook.
  • Recent Ad Activity – Do you click on ads? Find out by clicking on this symbol.
  • Payment History – Only relevant if you buy Facebook ads or otherwise pay Facebook for services.

Didn’t realize you could do so much on Facebook? Well, we’re not even done yet. Scroll down some more and you’ll see the following symbols in the left navigation menu.

Here’s what these icons mean, from the top down.

  • Order Food – I know it sounds crazy, but you can get to the order page of local restaurants by using this link.
  • Jobs – Scan through local jobs and see if anything strikes your fancy.
  • Moments – Create shared photo albums with friends and family.
  • Town Hall – Want to get in touch with your local political representatives? This is where you can do it.
  • Create a Frame – Yes, this is where your Facebook friends create those silly photo frames around their Facebook photos.
  • Weather – Quickly get today’s weather as well as the forecast for the rest of the week.
  • Recommendations – Ask your friends for recommendations, or offer a few of your own.

Did this guide help you identify any new Facebook icons that you never knew about? Do you know of any other strange or obscure icons that aren’t on this list? Share your insight in the comments section below.




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