Facebook has been around for a while, but chances are, you have no idea about the several hidden features buried within the social network.
It's easy to only use the surface of Facebook: you log on, check your notifications, send a few chats, post a status or a photo, then close out. If you're feeling really adventurous, you may take a dive into the Settings panel and adjust your preferences. But there's so much more you can do - and we're not just talking about the basic stuff like blocking or managing post privacy.
Here are a few tips and tricks really worth knowing, and keep checking back, as we plan to update this piece over time. Also, check out Pocket-lint's Facebook Messenger round-up for more handy tips and tricks.
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Facebook tips and tricks
Save for later
Facebook offers Save feature for web and mobile. It acts as a bookmark for items you find interesting such as links, places, movies, TV shows, and music. So, instead of saving items, like those nummy videos for recipes, to other read-it-later services, you can now use Facebook as a bookmarking service. Saved items can be accessed later for viewing, archived, or even shared with your Facebook friends.
- To access the Saved items on the web, click on the Saved feature on the left-hand side of your News Feed.
- On mobile, click on the More tab.
You can take or upload a video of up to seven seconds to use as your profile video, rather than use a profile picture. They are public and can be viewed by anyone.
- To add a profile video from mobile, go to your profile and tap your profile picture or video, then tap Take a New Profile Video or Upload Video, and tap Next. Then, tap the bar at the bottom of the screen to choose a thumbnail for your video, and tap Save or Use.
Disable auto-playing videos
If you don't want videos on Facebook to automatically play in your News Feed, you can simply disable the feature.
- Under the More tab in the Facebook mobile app, select Videos and Photos, then choose to auto play videos over Cellular and Wi-Fi connections, just Wi-Fi, or never.
Tired of people pronouncing your name wrong? You can teach them how to say it properly on Facebook.
- While editing your profile on the desktop website, go to "Details About You" to get started. From here, you can also add a nickname or maiden name for yourself to display with your profile.
Add a short bio
- You can edit it at any time from your profile page on the desktop site and mobile app. You can even make your bio completely out of emojis.
Hide your activity from friends
Your activity log lets you review and manage what you share on Facebook. For example, if you become friends with someone new, you can go into your Activity Log and hide the public story about you becoming friends with that person, among other things. Only you can see your activity log, but stories in your activity log may appear on your Timeline, in search, or in your friends' News Feeds.
- To view your activity log, click the down arrow in the top-right corner of any Facebook page from the web, and then select Activity Log. From here, you can click the Filters on the left to review a specific type of story (ex: Your Posts, Photos). You can also search for stories and click a year on the right to see stories from a specific year.
Prioritise who you see first
If there are people or pages you want to see first in your News Feed, you can select them to appear first via the Facebook mobile app. People and pages you've marked to see first will have a blue star next to their posts in your feed.
- Tap Settings under the app's More tab, and then tap News Feed Preferences to get started.
See your active sessions
Facebook shows you all active sessions, aka which devices are logging onto your account and from where. This is handy if you're curious as to whether an ex or a friend might be logging into your Facebook, or maybe you've left your account signed in on a device somewhere.
- From the Facebook mobile app, tap the More tab then Settings > Account Settings > Security > and Active Sessions. Tap the "X" to remotely log out of any device or Facebook app you're logged into.
- From your Security Settings on Facebook's desktop website, the "Where You're Logged In" menu shows active logins and lets you end them.
Facebook login alerts
Facebook will notify you by notification or email when someone logs onto your account. Facebook Login Alerts and Login Approvals can be enabled under Security Settings in the mobile app and desktop website. It's an extra security feature, basically.
- To turn on login alerts, go to your Security Settings under Settings from the web, then Click the Login Alerts section, and Choose the type of alert (ex: email alerts) you'd like to receive. Click Save Changes when done.
We all have that one friend who posts the most rude or annoying things on Facebook. Block that noise without unfriending by simply unfollowing him or her. Friends won't know if you've chosen to unfollow them, and their content won't appear in your News Feed.
- To unfollow someone, go to their profile on the web, hover over Following and then scroll down to select Unfollow.
View your profile as...
Ever want to see what your Uncle Bob sees when he looks at your profile? You can. This is handy for seeing what on your profile is visible to others, including individual friends you may have hidden information from.
- When you're logged into Facebook on the web, go to your profile, then click the ellipsis next to "View Activity Log", and click "View as...".
This trick lets you see all the common posts and photos between you and a friend. But, with a quick hack, you can also see common stuff between two other people on Facebook.
- To see common stuff between you and a friend, log into Facebook on the web, go to you a friend's profile, then click the ellipsis next to "View Activity Log", and click "See Friendship". The URL in your browser will show: facebook.com/friendship/[your username]/[friend's username]
- To see common stuff between two friends, enter this in your browser: facebook.com/friendship/[friend's username]/[friend's username]
Get notifications from friends
If you want to keep tabs on a friend's Facebook activity, you can get alerted every time they share something. Seriously, like every time.
- Click the "Friends" drop down from their profile on Facebook's desktop website, and then select "Get Notifications".
Create individual News Feeds
You can create groups within your list of friends, enabling you to filter between what everyone is talking about in your News Feed. For instance, you may want to see what everyone from you work is sharing or just your friends from home. Facebook creates lists of friends by default based on common affiliation, but you can create them too. It's like individual News Feeds within Facebook for you to browse.
- On Facebook's desktop site, you can see all of your friend lists next to your News Feeds. Select the More button that appears next to the Friends header to manage your friends' lists. At the top of the new window, you will see a Create List link too.
Unsubscribe from notifications
Commenting on a public post might result in an onslaught of notifications from other people commenting. You may not know that you can unsubscribe from activity on any post, however, which will stop that onslaught.
- When you get a notification for a post on Facebook's desktop site, click the "X" to the right of the notification and then "Turn off". You can also turn off notifications for activity from the right drop down arrow of any post.
Add contributors to albums
You can create an album and then add a friend as a contributor so that the two of you can populate the album. Who knew, right? This is especially handy for, let's say, a party album, where all your friends can upload the crazy pics from the night before.
- If you want to let other people contribute to one of your photo albums, tap "Edit" in the top right of Facebook's mobile app while viewing the album, and then select "Allow Contributors".
- From the desktop website, click the same edit button to add people as contributors.
Download Facebook data
- Click the download arrow at the top right of any Facebook webpage, then select Setting, and click Download a copy of your Facebook data below your General Account Settings. From there, click Start My Archive.
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