Facebook is one of the largest and most successful social networking sites on the Internet, but if you have ever used the chat interface you've probably noticed that it lacks most of the features you find on other chat clients. It's just a simple chat program that works as an add-on inside of the Facebook community.

Chat symbols for Facebook

Since Facebook chat doesn't have the ability for you to upload pictures to use as emoticons and smileys, you have to learn the ways that are built into the system if you want to display anything other than words in your Facebook chat messages. There are two ways that you can include symbols or smileys in your chat. One method is to type in the smiley codes that Facebook's chat interface is programmed to convert into smileys. The other is to copy and paste or use alt codes to use the symbols built into Windows.

You may not realize that Windows has a character map including quite a variety of symbols that can be used anywhere text can be used. These symbols can be accessed by holding down the alt key while pressing a series of numbers on the numeric keypad. If you don't have a numeric keypad, you have to press the 'Num Lk' button first and use the numbers that are written in over some of the letter keys.

Using the above method, you can type any character in the Windows character map into the Facebook chat window. There are smiley faces, hearts, weather symbols, arrows and more that you can use to liven up your chat sessions. You can also leave another window of your browser open to a page with the symbols on it and copy and paste them into your chat box.

The other way to display emoticons in Facebook chat is to type commonly used emoticons such as :) directly into the chat window. Facebook's chat program automatically converts :) to a picture of a smiley face. There are several of these Facebook symbols integrated into the system. Try playing around with it sometime and see how many you can find.