A Guide to Facebook Symbols and 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 10 Facebook Messenger Features You Must Try 10 Facebook Messenger Features You Must Try We've done some digging and found even more features that could make Messenger more useful for you. Read More . And Dan showed you the ins and outs of following and followers on Facebook The Ins and Outs of Followers & Following on Facebook The Ins and Outs of Followers & Following on Facebook If you're not Facebook friends with a person, how can they see your updates on their home page? If someone is following you, how can you stop them? And what "following" anyway? Read More . 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 meanings One of the most recognizable images both inside and outside of Facebook – this is the famous “Like” icon. You can Like a status update Powerful Ways to Increase Your Facebook Likes and Engagement Powerful Ways to Increase Your Facebook Likes and Engagement There are a number of strategies and approaches for engagement that can help you to reach more people with your Facebook posts for free. Read More , quote, link, image or anything else? Click this image and let everyone know.
  • symbols on facebook At 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 facebook Click on this little conversation bubble icon, and you’ll see a dropdown box displaying the latest Facebook messages you’ve received.
  • symbols on facebook Finally, 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 How to Watch Facebook Videos on Your TV How to Watch Facebook Videos on Your TV If you want to share a Facebook video with your entire living room, then the best thing to do is cast the video right onto your TV. Read More 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.

A Guide to Facebook Symbols and What They All Mean fb icons7

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.

A Guide to Facebook Symbols and What They All Mean fb icons1

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 One Overlooked Feature That Makes Facebook More Productive One Overlooked Feature That Makes Facebook More Productive Facebook is fantastic, but it can be a productivity drain. If you sit to read each link, you'll be spending far more time on Facebook than is healthy for you. What to do? This. Read More . 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.

A Guide to Facebook Symbols and What They All Mean fb icons2

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.

A Guide to Facebook Symbols and What They All Mean fb icons3

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 4 Vital Facebook Privacy Settings You Should Check Right Now 4 Vital Facebook Privacy Settings You Should Check Right Now Facebook's been changing privacy options again. As usual, the default option is for you to be oversharing your details, so here's what you need to know to set things right. Read More . 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.

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.

A Guide to Facebook Symbols and What They All Mean fb icons4

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 How to "Friend" Someone on Facebook & Hide It From Your Status Updates How to "Friend" Someone on Facebook & Hide It From Your Status Updates Don't want everyone to know you've got a new Facebook friend? Here's how to hide your new connections from your wall, status updates, and News Feed. Read More . 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.

A Guide to Facebook Symbols and What They All Mean fb icons5

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 Write and Share Rich, Beautiful Facebook Posts With New Facebook Notes Write and Share Rich, Beautiful Facebook Posts With New Facebook Notes Facebook Notes seems to be a competitor to Medium, the long-form blogging tool for Twitter, but it's integrated tightly into the world's largest social network. Read More ? 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.

A Guide to Facebook Symbols and What They All Mean fb icons6

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.

For more Facebook help, take a look at our Facebook image size guide The Facebook Image Size Guide for 2018 The Facebook Image Size Guide for 2018 If you want your Facebook to look visually appealing, this Facebook image size guide should help you figure it all out. Read More .

Image Credit: rvlsoft via Shutterstock.com

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  1. Suman
    December 15, 2018 at 3:22 am

    Can someone let me know what does a wifi like symbol next to someone's facebook account name mean?

  2. Linda Hen
    November 13, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    What does the orange circle with white flag mean. It's right next to profile pic on messages.

  3. Diana Watton
    November 11, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    I read this entire article and no where did it answer my question

  4. Vonda
    November 5, 2018 at 12:55 am

    I was a Conversation Starter and now the icon is a tile with silhouettes inside.
    Any idea what that stands for?

  5. Frank
    August 18, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Steaming Coffee cup next to names? What does this mean?

  6. Woody
    July 30, 2018 at 4:40 am

    Yes I've been searching the net and I must be the only one with a gray hand that appears in facebook messenger menu when hover over a name. I have not found a match to my searches on google, bing, anywhere for about 30 minutes so far. Maybe I got a virus. It's right next to the mask which (without looking) I found notes the online friend is playing a game. Anybody have any idea what the hand is for? Thanks, Woody.

  7. Leslie T Wilson
    July 23, 2018 at 12:16 am

    What does the black handprint on facebook mean?

  8. Derek Pressley
    June 13, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    What does a black and mean next to your name on a fb post

  9. Lacemaker427
    March 31, 2018 at 12:51 am

    Under every comment, there is a gray horizontal rectangle with 3 white dots in it. What does it signify?

  10. Jim Parker
    January 11, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Clicking on the settings button in the lower right corner opens a Contacts list. What do the symbols (or lack thereof) to the right of the name mean?

  11. Janice Perry
    January 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    What does ;) mean?

  12. Janice Perry
    January 4, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    What does :) mean?

  13. Susan landis
    December 27, 2017 at 3:27 am

    On my notifications by a friends Facebook picture there is a picture frame on it instead of a like symbol or a love symbol and when I go to see the post its black?

  14. Carrie Thompson
    December 24, 2017 at 11:21 am

    What does a clock on the Facebook app mean.?

  15. Sophie
    November 23, 2017 at 8:45 am

    What do this " mean wen u go in your search bar

  16. Kevino BRODER
    November 17, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Next to my name, in posts, there is a symbol that looks like a Greek building. 3 pillars and a triangular roof. What is it?

    • Sarah
      December 2, 2017 at 7:47 am

      I'd like to know as well

  17. Alison
    November 7, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    There's a grey icon next to my pages in the shortcuts list. It looks like a horizontally-oriented oval with a diagonal line through it, or maybe an eye with a diagonal line through it. Since that icon showed up, my pages have become less functional, eg. I can't invite people to attend my events or add co-hosts.


  18. Barrie Hazzard
    September 22, 2017 at 11:47 am

    What does this symbol..3 arrowheads pointing up?..ie. ^^^

  19. JJ
    September 18, 2017 at 12:48 am

    I disagree with your advice. It seems really close-minded, like you're asserting your own cultural views on socializing on others who might have different cultural social mores. Your advice about adding friends "conservatively" is NOT Facebook policy. That's your policy. It's totally acceptable to add "friends" in any way one chooses. Every community & individual is different in the way the relate to the world, whether that be open to with many people or closed off to a few people. People on Facebook are assumed to be old enough to decide whom and whom not to accept a friend request from. Never hurts to reach out no matter how well you know someone.

    • ANGEL
      July 20, 2018 at 4:56 am


  20. Dee Ann
    September 13, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    This was very helpful to someone who has never had a facebook account before.
    Thank You

  21. Sharon Gascic
    August 30, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    What are all the new symbols by ones notifications? Use to be very simple. Symbols for like, love, funny, wow, sad, angry.....Now I'm seeing orange, gold, green symbols...what are they and their meaning?

  22. Vicki
    August 29, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    I have been trying to find out what this symbol means. I find it next to some peoples' names. It looks like a house. Triangle top, three columns, and a rectangle base.

    • Jamie Fleck
      September 1, 2017 at 3:41 am

      Yes! I have seen this too! No clue what they mean and cannot find any info about it.

    • Eris
      September 11, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      I've seen it also. Usually on pages.
      I dunno if it means something about how often they comment or something else.

    • W7ENK
      October 27, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Yes indeed, this is exactly what led me here this morning!! But alas, no answers... :(

    • Reed
      November 10, 2017 at 12:56 am

      I was wondering the same thing. I think this is the "constituent badge". If you like or comment on a post by an elected official, you can choose to turn this on if your address indicates you are a constituent of that official's district. I haven't used this though so don't know much more about how it works or how to turn it on.

    • Bill
      November 14, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      It's a constituent badge. It pops up if you are commenting on an elected officials page, and you are within their voting district. You can choose to add the badge or not. The feature is not available in all facebook markets as of yet, but it's visible across all facebook platforms. It essentially lets your official know if you're a potential vote or not.