The symbol for a smiley face when texting is a colon followed by a parenthesis sign that opens to the left. In practice, the symbol looks like this :)
Faces made of letters, punctuation and common keyboard symbols are called emoticons. The smiley face is the most popular, according to NetLingo, but it is one of dozens of variations. Different versions of the smiley face include an equal sign followed by a parenthesis and a winking face made using the semicolon and a parenthesis. Emoticons are used to imply a feeling or state of being in an abridged way that is conducive to the format of text messages.