Facebook Messenger Symbols Meanings Explained Plus Messenger Icons List

Confused about the icons or symbols that appear next to the messages you send to people on Facebook Messenger? Some seem easy enough to follow but the exact meaning is not always obvious.

Use this easy-to-follow explainer below to get a better idea.

Usually, these icons indicate the status of your message. But there are some subtle differences that not everyone is aware of. I’ll explain the main Facebook Messenger symbol meanings and clear up any confusion.

I also share some interesting tips about message status and how to understand what’s going on. If you want, you can skip to the video below. Use Messenger like a Pro!

Let’s get started.

facebook messenger symbols and icons explained

Common Facebook Messenger Symbols and Icons List with Meanings

Here is a list of the most common FB Messenger icons and symbols you are likely to come across – along with what they mean.

messenger symbols

The following icons usually appear next to your message:

What Does an Unfilled Blue Circular Outline Icon Mean?

This unfilled blue circle (or open blue circle) means that your message is still sending and has not been delivered to the recipient. It really means that the message hasn’t been picked up by the Facebook servers yet.

It would be a good idea to wait until your message is delivered before you leave the chat window.

Unfilled Blue Circular Outline Icon

Unfilled Blue Circle Outline with Check Mark

This circular outline with a check mark inside it indicates that your message has been sent by the Facebook servers but may not have been received yet by the recipient.

Unfilled Blue Circular Outline with Check Mark

If you are not friends on Facebook with the recipient, this icon will still appear next to your message even if they have received it. This means that the message is in their ‘Message Requests’ list and they have not yet opened it.

What do Filled Blue Circle with Check Mark Symbols Mean?

When you see a filled blue circle with a checkmark next to your message, it is an indicator that the message has been successfully sent to the recipient.

However, this does not mean that they have opened and read your message.

Filled Blue Circle with Check Mark Symbol

Small Circular Profile Photo

When you see a small circular profile picture icon (avatar) of the recipient next to your message, this shows that the recipient has opened and read your message.

Small Circular Profile Photo

Red Triangle with Exclamation Point

If you see a small red triangle with an exclamation point inside it next to your message, it indicates that your message was not sent successfully.

If you see this icon, check your internet connection and try again. Try not to leave the chat until your message has been sent.

Red Triangle with Exclamation Point

How to Know If Your Message Was Read on the Facebook Messenger App

Usually, the profile photo of the recipient will appear next to your message to indicate that they have read your message.

However, if they read the message from their notifications without opening the app, you will not be able to definitely know if they read your message.

Check out how to tell when someone was last on Facebook Messenger in this easy-to-follow guide. You might also be interested to learn how to see someones Facebook messages without them knowing! Go on you know you are curious.

Can You Delete or Unsend a Sent Message?

Once you have sent a message, you can either delete it just for yourself or unsend it completely. To do this, long tap on the message, click on ‘Remove’, and select either ‘Unsend’ or ‘Remove for You’.

If you unsend the message, it will be replaced by the text ‘you unsent a message’ that the recipient will also be able to see in the chat thread icons.

You can also delete (irreversible action) or archive (reversible action) your entire chat with someone in the Facebook Messenger app.

Did you know there is a sneaky trick people use to send anonymous Facebook messages? Check that article out for the details.

What Is the Difference between Sent and Delivered in Messenger?

Sent messages (blue circle outline with check mark icon) indicate that your message has been sent but the recipient is not connected to the internet to receive the message.

Delivered messages (filled blue circle with a check mark) indicate that your message has been received but not read or opened by the recipient.


What Is a Facebook Message Request?

If you receive a message from someone you are not friends with on Facebook, the message will appear under ‘Message Requests’. This is the same for the recipient if you send a message to someone you are not friends with.

If you are on Facebook.com you will see the notification in the Facebook Messenger icon – the logo icon at the top of your screen.

If this happens, you can either ‘Accept’ or ‘Ignore’ the message after you read it.

On a serious note. Do you know what your kids are up to on apps like Messenger? Who is sending them friend requests?

A large part of this website is aimed at parents trying to manage their kids’ online behavior. You should check out How to Hack Into Someones Facebook – a guide covering legal and ethical ways to monitor your kids on Facebook.

Another post of interest would be – find the best FB Hacking Apps. This will give you lots of information to help keep kids safe online.

Can You Mark a Message as Unread?

You have the option of marking a message as unread on Messenger. However, this only works on your end. The sender will still be able to see that you have read the message.

Check out my video above for a quick rundown of all messenger icons and symbols.

More Questions?

How do you interpret the symbols in a Facebook Messenger conversation?

The symbols used in Facebook Messenger conversations indicate the status of messages or represent an action the user is taking.

What does it mean when someone sends a thumbs-up in Facebook Messenger?

A thumbs up in Facebook Messenger usually means that the sender approves or agrees with something.

What are the most commonly used emojis on Facebook Messenger?

Commonly used emojis on Facebook Messenger include smiley faces, hearts, and thumbs-up icons.

How do I customize my Facebook Messenger chat window with icons and symbols?

You can customize your chat window with icons and symbols by accessing the settings menu in Facebook Messenger and selecting the customization options available to you.

The Final Word on Facebook Messenger Icons and Symbols

Now you know what all the confusing icons and symbols mean on Facebook and what they tell you about the messages that you send.

I hope I’ve cleared up any confusion about the different status icons and answered some questions that people ask. This will make it easier for you to navigate Facebook Messenger.

I have some other Facebook tips and tricks articles you should check out:

How Facebook Messenger Works
How to Block or Unblock Someone on Facebook
How to Delete Facebook Messages and Conversations
How to Send Gifs on Messenger

Have a good look around I think you’ll learn some new tricks!

Hopefully, this post was able to clear up any confusion about Facebook Messenger symbols, what they mean, and the way the app works using these icons.

Author - Susan Kennedy

Hi there - I'm Susan Kennedy, a regular mom who has used spy apps for years now. I was fed up with spammy reviews and poor information so I started this website. I also teach you how to improve your online security and stop unwanted spy apps. Reliable information from a real person!

Susan Kennedy author