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Useful Facebook Tricks People May Not Know About
I was talking to some people about Facebook and I realized that not many people take the time to figure out or even enjoy tinkering with its options like I do. So I decided to write an article about some Facebook tricks that I've discovered so far. You might find them useful.
#1. Decluttering Your Homepage
If you're like me, then you hate it when your homepage gets cluttered with all the junk activity of your friends playing games on facebook. You know what I mean. Those "So and so robbed Don Purtino's mafia in Mafia Wars" or "Blah caught a Scavenger mouse in MouseHunt". No offense to those who play these games, I'm sure they're lots of fun, but the rest of us don't want our homepage to be filled with these stories that we can't see our friends' important activities amidst all the clutter.
Here's the good news: You can configure your homepage so it doesn't display these stories anymore! If you hover your mouse on a story on your homepage, a Hide tab will appear on its upper right corner. Click on it and you are given two options: (1) Hide the person publishing the story or (2) Hide the application the story is from. I usually hide the application. In our examples above, that would be: Hide Mafia Wars and Hide MouseHunt. Voila! You will never see Mafia Wars and MouseHunt on your homepage again! Nice, huh?
If you ever change your mind and decide you want to see stories from the application back on your homepage, simply click on Edit Options at the bottom right corner of the news feeds on your homepage, select the application you want and click Add To News Feeds. But I doubt if you'll ever do that.
#2. Using Homepage Filters
See those options at the top left side of your homepage? Those are filters. If you've segregated your friends into lists, you'll see the friends lists names there, too. Click on one to view the activities of the people in that particular friends list only. I, for example, have grouped my facebook friends into Family, PCGS Classmates, SHS-G Classmates, etc. If I want to know what my old high school classmates are doing on facebook, I click on the PCGS Classmates filter on my homepage and only the recent activities of my classmates from PCGS show up.
To go back to viewing the activities of all your friends, click on News Feed at the top of the filters.
It's also easy to create or reorder filters. To create filters if you haven't grouped your friends yet, click Create. Type in the name of your filter and add some friends to it. To reorder, click on More at the bottom and drag the filters around. Just so you know, only the items above the double line show up by default when you visit your homepage. If you want to delete filters, click Create, select the filter you want to delete and click Delete This List. Remember to save your changes!
#3. Customizing Info Privacy
When I first started out on Facebook, I had decided to add to my friends list only people that I knew personally, so I filled out all the details in my Info tab. Then I started getting friend requests from online acquaintances or even strangers and I realized I couldn't display certain contact information to these people. As I was about to delete the info, I realized that you can customize privacy settings for each individual item in your Contact Information. Here's how:
- Click the Info tab on your profile.
- Hover your mouse over the Contact Information portion.
- Click on the Edit button that appears on its upper right corner.
- Click on the padlock icon next to each item and select Customize.
- Select Some Friends and choose only the friends or networks that you want to allow. You can even put exceptions.
Another way to do this is to hover your mouse over Settings (beside Logout), then click on Privacy Settings. There you can control your privacy settings for your Profile, Search, News Feed and Wall, and Applications.
#4. Cleaning Up Your Wall
Has your wall ever gotten hijacked by notifications such as "Blah started the quiz: Dr. Phil's Personality Test" then "Blah completed the quiz: Dr. Phil's Personality Test with the result The Vain, Self-Centered Leader" followed by a big story stating the same thing. Get rid of the duplicates by clicking on the Remove button that appears to its right when you hover on it! I've seen so many walls overrun by these useless notifications. I also remove the notifications that appear on my wall when I change some information on my profile. I like things neat and organized. (Which is why I hate that the current Facebook rearranges posts on my wall every now and then instead of following a chronological order.)
#5. Tagging People In Notes
Have you ever wondered if anybody bothers to read your notes on Facebook? It's like, nobody comments. And you wonder if your friends know you ever wrote it? That's happened to me, and I've realized that it's probably because my friends' homepages are so cluttered with the aforementioned junk that they didn't notice the note I wrote. So now I tag the people for whom the note was intended.
Well, strictly speaking, you only tag people in a note when you've mentioned them or written about them in it (just like you tag people in pictures and videos when they are in it), but I guess we can stretch the tag function a little. When you tag a person in a note, picture, or video, it appears on their wall so they have no chance of missing it. Unless they never look at their wall, which is pretty much impossible.
How do you tag people in notes, you ask? Easy. When you write a new note, you'll find "Tag people in this note" to the right of the title. When you type people's names into the blank, they appear under "In this note" and you've tagged them. When you publish the note, it will appear on their walls.
#6. Writing Notes
Okay, I assumed in #5 that you know how to make notes. For those who don't or have no idea what notes are, they're like mini-blogs where you can write anything for your friends to read. Where do you find the option to write a note, you ask? Well, by default it is bookmarked on the lowest portion of your profile. It's the icon that looks like a page on a spring-bound notebook. (Hover your mouse over the icons until you find "Notes".) When you click it you're taken to your friends' notes by default. There's a "Write a new note" button on the upper right corner. That's what you're looking for if you want to start a new note.
To view notes you've already written, click My Notes. Or you can click on your Notes tab in your profile. The "Notes about me" portion contains all the notes in which you are tagged.