Have you checked your Facebook account recently? If you are a regular user of the biggest social networking platform in the world, Facebook, you are in for a little treat. It seems that recently Facebook has added a new feature to its social networking platform, which allows the users to see the ASCII version of their photos. However, this feature has been added to the social networking platform without any word from Facebook. Somebody discovered the feature, and then it gets spread around on the internet.
Take any Facebook/Instagram photo URL.— Mathias Bynens (@mathias) January 28, 2016
👉 append `.txt` → ASCII art
👉 append `.html` → colored ASCII art
Mathias Bynens, the one who discovered the feature, told his Twitter followers about the neat trick that he found. Simply by changing the URL of the photo with HTML or text, you can see the ASCII version of the photo that you have uploaded onto Facebook. Not only that, you can also do this on Instagram as well, since Facebook and Instagram are technically the same social networking platforms created by the same company. Once you’ve got the ASCII version of your image, you can change the size of your ASCII image without losing the image quality.
The HTML version of your image will display the colored version of the ASCII image, while the text version of your image will display the black and white version of your ASCII image. So, how can you see the computer art version of your uploaded photos? It’s a little bit complicated if you don’t know at least one or two things about web programming. So, first you have to find the URL of your image with the .jpg extension. You can do this by right-clicking the image and copy the link source of the image. Once you’ve found the URL of the image, you just simply need to add .html or .txt extension to your image URL.
So, for instance, if your image URL is https://some-fb-cdn-url/some-random-numbers.jpg (you can try right-clicking your profile picture to get the exact URL), then you simply convert it into HTML like this: https://some-fb-cdn-url/some-random-numbers.jpg.html. Or, if you want to see the text version of the image, you can put .txt at the end of the image URL, like this: https://some-fb-cdn-url/some-random-numbers.jpg.txt.
For Instagram, you can’t just right-click your photos like the way you do with Facebook. You have to open the page source code and manually find the image URL of your photo. Then, you can simply add .html or .txt extension to your Instagram image URL in order to see the colored and the black-and-white ASCII version of your image. Sometimes, you need to do this as well for Facebook if you cannot find the image URL by right-clicking the image.
Although the company doesn’t say anything about this new “fun” feature yet, it seems that you can start using it right away by simply adding .html or .txt extension to your image URL. Of course, we don’t know about the purpose of this feature yet, whether the company just wants to use this feature for fun or whether they want to include this as a part of some new features in the future, which could be officially announced soon. Or, this feature might have already been there since a long time, only that we weren’t aware of it until recently.