Decoding Symbols and Icons on Facebook

Are you curious about the symbols and icons you come across while scrolling on Facebook? Do you hesitate to interact with them because you're unsure of their meaning? Don't worry, we've got you covered. In this article, we will decipher the various symbols and icons you encounter on Facebook. Whether you're using the Facebook mobile app or the web version, the meanings remain the same. So, let's dive in!

Facebook Shortcuts Bar

At the top on Android and at the bottom on iOS, you'll find the shortcuts bar. It provides quick access to important Facebook features.

  • Home: This icon takes you to your Facebook feed from any screen. If you're scrolling through the feed and want to return to the top, simply tap or click on this icon.
  • Flag: The flag icon represents Facebook pages. You can manage your pages, view liked pages, create new pages, and more.
  • TV: The TV or Play icon is a shortcut to Facebook Watch, where you can watch videos. Discover how to watch Facebook videos with friends here.
  • Shop: The shop symbol represents the Facebook Marketplace. Tap on it to buy and sell items.
  • Three People: This icon is a shortcut to your groups. It provides a feed exclusively for group posts and allows you to pin groups for faster access.
  • Bell: All your notifications can be found under the bell icon.
  • Three Bars: The three-bar icon opens the menu, which contains all other shortcuts and features, including Settings.

Interestingly, Facebook allows you to customize the shortcuts bar. You can hide or show shortcuts according to your preference. To do this, open the Facebook app menu using the three-bar icon, go to Settings & Privacy > Settings > Shortcuts bar, and enable or disable the required options.

Tip: On Android, touch and hold the shortcut icon to access its settings.

Create Post

The “What's on your mind” box allows you to publish content on Facebook. You can write text status updates, upload photos, go live, ask for recommendations, and more. Simply tap on the box to open the Create post screen and explore the available options.

Before the box, you'll find your profile picture. Tap on it to view your profile screen. On the right side of the box, the album icon takes you to the gallery, where you can select and upload photos to Facebook.

On the Create post screen, the available options are labeled. If the icons are minimized, tap on the three dots next to them to expand and view their meanings.

Below your name, you'll find the privacy setting box. Tap on it to customize the privacy setting of the post. You might also notice a language symbol in the “What's on your mind” field. Use it to type in different languages. Learn how to change the Facebook language here.

Facebook Privacy Symbols

Under every post, you'll see four types of privacy icons. These icons indicate the audience selected for the post.

  • Tiny Globe: This icon means that the post is public, and everyone can see it.
  • Silhouettes of two or three people: The two-person icon means the post is for friends only, while silhouettes of three people indicate that the post is shared with the person's friends and their friends.
  • Cog: This icon indicates that the post has custom settings, allowing only certain people to see it.

Facebook Search Symbols

When you open the search screen on Facebook, you'll find three symbols: a clock, a lens, and a cross.

  • Grey Clock Symbol: The grey clock icon next to some search items means they are from your past searches. You have previously searched for them.
  • Lens: If you see the lens symbol next to some names, Facebook is auto-suggesting them based on your search query.
  • Cross: The cross (X) icon next to search queries allows you to remove them from your search history.

Facebook Comment Symbols

On the comments screen, you'll find the following four symbols:

  • Camera: Use this icon to add photos from your phone in the comments.
  • GIF: This icon allows you to add a GIF as a comment.
  • Avatar: Tap the avatar icon to create or add your own personalized avatar to the comments.
  • Sticker: Use this icon to add a sticker to the comment. You can also install sticker packs from this icon.

Apart from the above icons, you may come across random symbols as comments from Facebook users. However, you don't need to engage with them to receive notifications. Facebook provides a native feature to turn on post notifications. Simply tap on the three-dot icon on the post and choose “Turn on notifications for this post.”

Profile Picture Symbols

  • Blue Circle: The blue ring around a profile picture indicates that the user has added a Facebook story. Tap on the profile picture to view the story.
  • Grey or White Circle: Once you've viewed someone's stories, the blue circle becomes greyish-white, indicating that you've seen all the stories from that person.

Understanding the symbols and icons on Facebook enhances your experience and helps you navigate the platform more efficiently. Now that you're familiar with their meanings, make the most out of your Facebook usage.

If you're interested in securing your Facebook account, check out our guide on how to make Facebook private. And if you're an Instagram user, be sure to explore our guide on the meaning of Instagram symbols here.