What Is OBJ On Facebook Posts? All You Need To Know About OBJ Meaning

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OBJ on Facebook posts is an “object replacement character” in Unicode that’s used as a text placeholder for an otherwise unspecified object. OBJ meaning is that this is a replacement for a character that can’t be displayed on your screen.

So you’ve posted something on Facebook, perhaps something cheerful, with a delightful little emoji to really get your point across. But as you check your new post on your phone, you realize that your pretty emojis are nowhere to be found. Instead, you see ugly little dashed boxes with the letters ‘OBJ’ inside them in their place.

You scroll through your feed, and you see similar boxes existing in other people’s posts. Some of your friends can see them–but some can’t. What exactly is going on? What does obj stand for? 

In this article, we’ll answer what is OBJ on Facebook post and tell you everything you need to know about it!

What Is OBJ On Facebook Posts?

OBJ, shown as [OBJ] on a Facebook post, may seem like a weird acronym, but actually, it’s just short for ‘object.’ The symbol [OBJ], meanwhile, is called an “object replacement character.”

The truth is, everything you see on a webpage is an ‘object’ of some sort. When you see [obj] on Facebook app posts and even Instagram posts (note that it is not a reason for your IG post not getting posted), it only means that there’s a particular object that can’t be displayed on the screen. In other words, OBJ is nothing but a placeholder in Unicode.

The Unicode – or the Universal Code of Character Sets – is a standard of representation for millions of different symbols. It incorporates all the common symbols, including emojis, to make one reference for all usable characters on the internet. 

It was created so that computers can easily understand each other, regardless of the actual language used.

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Why Do You See OBJ On Facebook?

Now would be a good time to ask: how could this happen? Wasn’t Unicode made precisely so that things like this wouldn’t happen?

That’s right. You’re not actually supposed to be seeing OBJ. Typically, this symbol only shows up when the software you’re using doesn’t know how to display a particular character from another software. That’s why OBJ meaning is an ‘object replacement character.’ The software has no idea how to display a specific object, so it replaces it with a placeholder instead.

There could be three reasons why this is happening to you:

Using Voice-To-Text Function On iPhone

This issue is most commonly seen when iPhone users use dictation to write their comments or posts. It’s basically just a software issue – the Apple translator encodes characters that the platform you’re using, Facebook app, doesn’t know how to display yet. 

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Apple Updating Their Emoji Library

Apple frequently uploads a lot of new emojis. Sometimes, other software – especially those on Android – simply don’t have the proper non-Apple equivalent yet. Only iOS users that have an updated character library can see new emojis, after all.

Software Bug

If you’re sure you’ve used Android devices to post and view and yet you still see these OBJ dashed boxes, then tough luck – you may have bugs in your software. The character or image may have been corrupted somewhere along the way, like when you’re inserting emojis or line breaks into your Instagram captions. 

There could be a bug in your Facebook application, or your software’s font libraries are not up to date. You can try updating either the app or your device’s OS to see if this will fix the issue.


What Does OBJ Mean?

OBJ means ‘object.’ It is a Unicode character for object replacement that software displays if it doesn’t know how to render or display a particular symbol or character on your screen.

What Do Empty Squares Mean In A Text?

Empty squares in a text mean that the software you are using does not recognize the character it’s asked to display. Because of this, the software uses other characters – like an empty square – to represent the specific characters.

Understanding OBJ On Facebook Posts

Now that you know exactly what OBJ on Facebook is, there’s no need to worry! Your device hasn’t malfunctioned, nor is it a serious issue. Waiting for your software to update or reinstalling your software could be the best way to fix the problem.

Did you like this article? Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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Michael Duong

Tech editor and senior writer Michael Duong is passionate about technology and innovation. He codes open-source projects and plays quiz games in his free time. An expert in his field and an avid learner, always seeking to expand his knowledge and skills in the ever-evolving world of technology. His specialization is mobile security and mobile data safety. Follow Michael on Twitter and Github.

3 thoughts on “What Is OBJ On Facebook Posts? All You Need To Know About OBJ Meaning”

  1. “OBJ on Facebook posts is an “object replacement character” in Unicode that’s used as a text placeholder for an otherwise unspecified object. It means that OBJ is a replacement for a character that can’t be displayed on your screen.”

    I started noticing this happening quite some time ago when posting on Facebook from my iPhone 11, and though I can’t say for sure, it does seem like its appearance does occur when I use voice dictation to write a post. However, when you say that it is “used as a text placeholder for an otherwise unspecified object”, it doesn’t quite explain it accurately to me because the OBJ boxes appear randomly. There IS no “object” for it to represent. I might be imagining it, but I will say that it tends to appear most often at the end of a sentence, before or after the closing punctuation. Sometimes it will appear a single time and other times it will cluster multiple times in a row like a stutter. What is prompting it to “think” there’s an object there? Regardless of what mystical thing prompts its appearance, I sure wish that someone would remedy it because it is annoying to have to constantly go back to a post and edit out all the OBJ boxes.

  2. I get what the article says, but I wish the writer had elaborated. The slant is that the person seeing the OBJ is using an Android device. I’m using a windows PC.

  3. This article is lame. It gives a basic overview and nothing more. The problem seems to originate from the FB mobile app on the iPhone and does seem to be related to dictation. But there should only be standard characters in the resulting text (yes, you can actually say “smiley face” and get an emoji, but I rarely do that and still have the problem). FB, if it wanted to, could strip the offending characters and solve the problem – a problem that crops up in no other software that I use where I use dictation – but they are lazy asses when it comes to stuff like this. It’s been around a long time – years – and they have yet to fix it.


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