Facebook often rolls out features without telling anybody about them. What’s worse, is that they usually change what people are comfortable with without really much warning or consult either. That’s okay a lot of the times, and even when people don’t like it when it happens, they’re usually quick to warm up to it as time goes on.

The issue with not telling people though, is that it leaves few people actually knowing when little tricks like this exist. Tricks like placing profile pictures in chat messages!

This really doesn’t have any practical purpose, and it’s not really “useful” for anything in particular, but it’ll likely be something fun to do a few times when chatting to your friends. The social network has decided to give us the ability to turn the profile photos of anybody on Facebook into a chat emoticon! The images are very small of course, but it’ll still have a little entertainment value for some.

To do this yourself, all you’ll need to is start a chat with somebody and follow these instructions. You do not have to be a friend of the person, or like the page of the organization to use the image (profile photos are always public).

  1. Go to a profile (or page) which uses the photo you want as its profile image.
  2. Take a close look at the profile (or page) URL. Make note of the profile ID (this could be a custom username or a long string of numbers).
  3. Stick that profile ID between double brackets while chatting or messaging people on Facebook.
  4. Watch the profile ID (and the double brackets) get converted into the corresponding image as soon as you send a message to someone.

Go ahead and try it with anybody, or any group or page on Facebook. If you wanted to use, say, Justin Bieber, you could type “[[JustinBieber]]” into a message. Or [[HotTip]] into a message for us! Isn’t that pointlessly cool? Give it a shot.

(via Vadim Lavrusik)

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