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Based on my experience using the desktop version of POF, those codes I posted that Lurker linked to will work in messages sent on POF.
If you are using one of the phone apps, I cannot help you. I tried the app once but it was full of issues so I uninstalled it and have not tried it again.
It looks like you figured out how to format them with a code number or name bracketed by colons.
:(code number or text):
To test them in a message compose the message you want to send, paste it into a message to yourself and send it. Open the message to see if all the coding you used worked. Make adjustments if necessary. Then when the message looks the way you want paste it into the message box of the person you want to send it to. A couple extra steps but a foolproof way to be sure the message will look the way you want before sending it.
By the way, the italic, bold, and even underline coding works in messaging too.
Again, this advice is for the desktop version of POF. I do not know if it will work the same in the phone apps.