Saturday 14 April 2012

Yet Another Guide to Facebook

Problem: Facebook’s interface is not brilliant – it’s too cluttered. Solution: Perhaps if we all keep complaining… But you can do some decluttering yourself. Read on.

Problem: When you join FB and friend people you were at primary school with, they bombard you with Farmville requests.

Solution: Go to a Farmville request and hover about the right-hand corner – a down arrow will appear. Click on it, and you’ll see an option to “Hide all from Farmville”. Select it.

Problem: I love my friends, but I don’t want to view all these funny videos about cats they keep posting.
Solution: As above, find the down arrow next to the funny cat video and click on it. You’ll be given the options:

Unfollow Post
I don't want to see this

If you select "I don't want to see this" you will now be given a list of reasons why you may not want to "see this".

You can't filter what you see from friends any more. (Dear Facebook, why not?) You can only decide whether someone is a "friend" or an "acquaintance". Those who post too many funny pictures of cats may be downgraded.

LOOK OUT!!! If you post an update to a group such as "Family", FB will assume that you want everything you post from then on to go just to "Family".  Switch back to "Friends" with a test post. (You can't change a post's destination once posted.)

Problem: You join FB and friend one person who happens to be a Mormon. “And now 20 Mormons want to be my friend!”

Solution: They aren’t requests from Mormons – they are friend suggestions from FB. All it knows about you is that you know a Mormon. Friend a few more people.

Problem: I’m still seeing too many status updates.
Solution: Make a group for your family, and one for your close friends (select Groups from the menu on the left). When you go to your “friend group” you’ll only see updates from close friends.

Problem: I keep getting emails from FB.

If you go to your own page (click on your name), you’ll see a down arrow next to “Home’. Click on it. You get these options:

Account Settings

Privacy Settings

Log Out


Click Account Settings, and go to Notifications. Here you can “change which applications and features can send you notifications”. You can even turn off all email notifications.

Problem: A friend or family member has disappeared from my timeline.
Solution: Interact with them (comment, like a comment, like a picture) and they will reappear.

Top left of the screen are three icons for Friend Requests, Messages and Notifications. They reveal their identity if you click on them, but NOT if you hover over them. If you have any requests, messages or notifications a red spot will appear on the appropriate icon with the number of requests, messages or notifications. (And I never noticed that - duh! And now they've moved to top right!)

Friend YR writes:  I thought posting a pix or a link was enough for ppl to see it, apparently you also have to share it! Dah! (And if you set up an Event, you have to Invite people to it. Oh.)

That useful box with short-cuts to your friends' activity has reappeared top right. Your browser box needs to be quite wide to see it. Also there's a list of friends below it - the green spot shows if they are online and available for chat.

Latest update: Of course this is a guide to "curating" your Facebook experience.

Update Sept 2014: Facebook has become less confessional and chatty, and what you see in your "newsfeed" is determined by FB's algorithm. It likes a newsfeed full of pictures and links that your friends have liked or commented on. Perhaps it's time to "like" fewer things.

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