Social Media

Facebook Symbol Meanings, Explained (And How to Use Them Properly)

Facebook’s symbols aren’t always easy to understand, particularly for newcomers. The sheer number of symbols to choose from on Facebook can be overwhelming.

In this article, we take a look at what all of these symbols mean, from the Like button to others you’ll come across—such as icons on Facebook menus and symbols for your status update.

Simple Facebook Symbols

The following are some of the more common Facebook icons. Most people who use Facebook regularly will recognize them fairly easily.

Facebook Reaction Icons

One of the most central images in the Facebook brand is the famous “Like” icon. You can like anything on the site that you can comment on. Just click this button to let everyone know.

Facebook has expanded the Like button to include other symbols or reactions, including Love, Care, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry.

To switch to one of these reaction symbols, hover over the Like button (or hold the Like button on the Facebook app) and the different reaction options will pop up. You then just need to select the reaction you want to use. These symbols express how the post makes you feel.

There are also other symbols on Facebook, including the icons that appear at the top of the page. Here, you’ll notice three buttons.

The first pulls out a menu where you can find friends, search local events, create posts, stories, pages, or ads, and do a whole host of other things.


The second is a shortcut to Facebook Messenger, where you can get in touch with your friends via direct message and group chat. You can customize your Messenger settings here, too.

The bell icon is where you can view all of your Facebook notifications.

The last button is a dropdown that lets you access all of your Facebook settings.

Create Post Symbols

Aside from the options above, the other icons you’ll see on Facebook are the ones that display while you’re creating new posts or updating your status.

Below the text field in your Create post window, you’ll see a few symbols. There will be an icon to add a photo or video to your post, an icon to tag friends in your post, a button to add a feeling to the post, a check-in feature that adds a location to your post, and a microphone that lets you host a live Q&A.

Hitting the Ellipsis button shows the rest of the options that you have when creating a post on Facebook.

On the Create post window, you’re also able to add emojis with the convenient Emoji button nearby.

The same window offers an alternative route. Click on the Feeling/Activity icon and you’ll find a list of the same emojis.

The Activities options are a bit more interesting. You can specify what you’re doing. Clicking on any of these reveals more.

The range of options here is honestly impressive and can benefit more than your personal posts. If Facebook’s whitelisting feature interests you, for example, exploring this list of Facebook symbols and their meanings can give you ideas on how to promote different brands.

Managing Facebook Posts

It’s also important to consider the symbols that show up alongside posts when you click the Ellipsis button on the upper right corner of a post window.

You’ll have different options available to you depending on where the post is and who posted it.

In the example below, we’ve got the following choices:

  • Pin Post: This lets you pin this post to the top of your profile as the first one that people see.
  • Save Post: This saves the post to a hidden collection that only you have access to.
  • Edit Post: This lets you edit your post, add media, or change the text.
  • Edit Audience: Change who can see this post.
  • Turn Off Notifications: Silence the notifications coming in from this post.
  • Turn Off Translations: This disables Facebook’s translation feature.
  • Edit Date: You can change the date and time of the post with this option.
  • Move to Archive: This removes the post from your timeline without deleting it entirely.
  • Move to Trash: The post will no longer be on your wall; Facebook deletes these Trashed posts automatically after thirty days.

Some of the most important icons here will be the Audience icons. What do these symbols mean?

  • Globe (Public): Make your posts visible to anyone on the internet.
  • Two People (Friends): All of your friends can see your posts.
  • Two People, One Ghosted (Friends except): Block specific friends from seeing your posts.
  • One Person (Specific friends): Show your posts to only certain friends.
  • Lock (Only me): Only you can see the post.
  • Gear (Custom): Add or remove friends or friends lists who can see the post.

It’s very easy to customize the privacy of every Facebook post. There are limits, however.

Explore Facebook’s notification symbols and meanings all you want, but seeing who viewed your Facebook profile is still a no-go. Even so, you have plenty of options to play with.

Facebook Navigation Symbols

These next Facebook symbols will be well-known to regular Facebook users. If you click on the Home tab, under your name on the left you’ll see dozens of icons.

This is Facebook’s navigation area. Your options include but aren’t limited to:

  • Friends: Connect with others that you may know on Facebook.
  • Events: Find events near you to attend.
  • Marketplace: Buy or sell products.
  • Pages: Browse pages for your favorite brands, hobbies, and celebs.
  • Ads Manager: Organize your ad campaigns.

Didn’t realize you could do so much on Facebook? We’re barely getting started. Hit See More for everything else this sidebar has to offer:

  • Ad Centre: Create and view your page adverts.
  • Blood Donations: Volunteer as a blood donor.
  • Climate Science Center: News and posts on ecology.
  • Community Help: Volunteer or offer opportunities in your local community.
  • COVID-19 Information Center: To hear the latest on the coronavirus globally and in your town.
  • Emotional Health: Facebook’s digital wellness portal.
  • Facebook Pay: If you would like to use Facebook’s payment service.
  • Favorites: Keep up with Favorited people and pages.
  • Fundraisers: The GoFundMe of Facebook.
  • Gaming Video: Watch live gaming on Facebook.
  • Groups: Find groups to join on Facebook.
  • Live Videos: Where all of those Facebook Live videos on your feed come from.
  • Memories: Go back in time and see what you posted years ago.
  • Messenger: Facebook’s Messenger app.
  • Most Recent: Check out what you’ve seen and interacted with recently.
  • News: Catch up on news reports.
  • Play Games: Some games that you can play on Facebook.
  • Quest: A VR experience in the world of social media.
  • Recent Ad Activity: See ads you interacted with.
  • Saved: View your collection of Saved Facebook posts.
  • Weather: For local weather information.

Spend time trying out Facebook’s icons, buttons, and tabs to understand the platform’s full capabilities. You can go from downloading your entire Facebook history to boosting your business and adding it to brands worth following on social media.

Symbols on Facebook: Explained

Once you know what all of these Facebook symbols mean, it’s clear that this social network is good for much more than just scrolling mindlessly.

The best way to explore everything available on Facebook is to start searching. The second best way? Just click buttons. What are these icons next to names on Facebook? What do these hidden tabs do?

This technique hasn’t failed us yet, but read labels and descriptions carefully so you don’t mess with anything important. The site is a rabbit hole, but all of these icons on Facebook make diving in all the more tempting.

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