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There's a hidden ASCII version of your Facebook and Instagram photos

Turn your photos into glorious ASCII art.

If you were on the Internet in the '90s, then you may be familiar with ASCII art. This refers to using text characters to create a picture.

Instagram photo tuned into ASCII art.

Photo by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Thanks to a trick shared on The Next Web, you can easily create your own ASCII art with photos you've shared publicly on Facebook and Instagram, just by adding a few characters to the end of the image's URL. This trick works best with photos that contain striking features, but are not visually "busy." The results can be used for art projects, flyers or a way to make large versions of smaller pictures.

To do this, you'll need to get the image URL (ending in .jpg) from Facebook or Instagram. Again, this must be a public image in order to create an ASCII version. Here's how:


Open an image you've shared and right-click on it to copy the image address. Paste this address in the address bar and then add .txt or .html (color version) after the .jpg and press Enter.


Getting the URL for your photos is a bit more involved, since they aren't available in the right-click menu. Instead, view your image in a Web browser and use the right-click menu to view the page source. Use the find in page feature ( Ctrl or Cmd F) to look for .jpg. This will be the direct link to your image. Add .txt or .html to the end of it in the address bar, and you're set.

If your first attempt doesn't produce the ASCII version, try another image. Other news sources are reporting that it was not successful with every image, but it worked for most.