- Download Your Facebook Data
With so much of our lives plastered over Facebook, many of us feel forever locked in for fear of losing that content. It doesn’t have to be this way. Facebook can email you a Zip file containing any posts, photos and videos you’ve shared, messages and chat conversations, information from the About section of your profile, and more. Just click the downward triangle at the top right of the page and choose Settings. On the General tab hit the link ‘Download a copy of your Facebook data’. Finally, on the next page click ‘Start My Archive’.
- Allow Your Facebook Photo Albums Available Offline
My mum keeps threatening to join Facebook. She’s interested only in looking at my photo albums. Rather than giving her access to everything and staying on my best behaviour forever more, I can simply send her a link to view the photo album offline. To do this just open an album and click the settings icon. Choose Get link. You can either copy and paste the photo album link or click ‘Send in message’, but note that the latter uses Facebook’s messaging system, so it won’t work for your not-on-Facebook mum. So copy the link, open an email client, paste in the link, address the email to your mum, hit Send and voila.
- Limit Your Friends on Facebook Chat
Facebook chat is one of the coolest and most useful features in FB. My dilemma, however, was how to limit the number of people I chat with every time I log in. I certainly can’t accommodate them all but I don’t want them to feel like I’m rejecting them when I don’t send them a reply. So here’s a great tip that allows you to appear online only to a few selected friends at any one time, and its super easy.
Just go to Chat found at the lower right side of the page and then, click on gear icon and click on advanced settings. A window would pop-up, now in the field which says “Turn on chat for all friends, except..” start adding your friends name, for whom you don’t want to appear online. With this, you now appear completely invisible to them.
- Turn off Auto-play of Facebook Videos
Facebook has this annoying function (well for me, anyhow) whereby it ‘auto plays’ videos whenever you are checking the timeline. So, if like me, you want to disable the auto-play of videos, you can do that by following these easy steps.
- Go to Facebook Settings > Videos
- Turn off the auto play of Facebook videos.
(Note; if you suffer with slow internet speed, you can also change the default quality to SD from HD).
- View Your Profile How the Rest Facebook Sees It
Can be a bit of a wakeup call this one, because have you ever actually considered how other users actually see your page?? When I did this some months ago I realised there was some information and photos I really didn’t want (or need) to display to the rest of the World,let alone my Mother….
To see what’s going on, simply go to your profile page and tap the button with three dots on it on your cover photo, then choose View As. It defaults to show how your profile looks to anyone you’re NOT friends with (or don’t wanna be obviously).
So now you are looking at your public profile and how everybody else views it, and hopefully a lot of your most sensitive details and posts are hidden (unless you’re an exhibitionist I guess!).
If you want to go one step further and see how the page looks to someone you’re already friends with, when you on the ‘view as’ page, click the View as Specific Person link at the top of the profile, then type out the name of the friend in question.
- Stop Facebook from Following Your Every Browser Action
Facebook loves to follow you around if you hadn’t noticed, and can use your web browsing activity outside of Facebook to target you with adverts and show Facebook-powered ads on third-party sites, but luckily you can turn both of these settings off – it won’t stop your ads completely, and it’s likely you’re still going to see the same amount of ads, but they won’t be so closely based on your browsing history.
Open up the ever-useful Settings page (via the drop down on the toolbar) then click Adverts. The top option controls whether ad topics are based on your previous use of websites and apps, while the one underneath it controls whether Facebook-powered ads can be shown to you on other websites.
- Display an Alternative Name on Your Profile
Now there was a time when you could change your name on Facebook almost every other week, maybe adding in a nickname or a maiden name? And then Facebook being Facebook decided it would have the last laugh and suddenly limited the number of times you could change your profile name. If you were one of the unfortunate ones, you were then stuck with a moniker that you possibly didn’t even want for all eternity. I actually have a Facebook friend whom I have known for years as TomTom, even though his actual name is Michael, caught in the trap of Facebook overnight changes.
So if you insist on playing around with nicknames, maiden names or whatever, there is a simpler way to do it. Firstly, click the downward triangle at the top of the screen and choose Settings, then on the General tab click Edit next to Name. Enter an alternate name and tick the box to include it on your Timeline, then click Save changes. But be warned, do not try to add anything that is offensive, promotes your business or impersonates someone else – the Facebook police are watching and will block your attempts.
*Note;You can only do this every 60 days, so choose wisely…
- How to Stop Apps Posting on Your Behalf
So here’s another neat trick if you don’t want your boss to know you are playing Bejewelled Blitz (or any other app come to that) when you should be hard at work! Because these infuriating apps will insist on posting to your wall on your behalf every time you hit an achievement or beat someone’s score. And as you already know, it won’t let you play without this permission. It’s not just Bejewelled Blitz however – many apps insist on posting to your wall. But you can stop them. Click that downward triangle at the top of your Facebook page and choose Settings, then Apps. Find the offending app in the list and choose Edit, then set the ‘Visibility of app’ field to only me. It will still post to your wall, but only you will see those updates–sorted.
(You can also do this from the Android or iOS apps, just choose the Apps menu within Settings)
- Separate your Friends, Colleagues and Associates
Can always be a little awkward when some you don’t know that well, maybe the new office junior sends you a friend request. Because you don’t want to appear rude or unwelcoming, but for many reasons maybe you just want to keep your social activities apart from the workplace. So thankfully you have the ability to set up friend lists (possibly better described as a group), so you can limit what they can see on your profile as well as how much you see of them.
In the News Feed view look down the left sidebar for the ‘Friends’ category. Hover your cursor over this, then choose the ‘More’ link that appears.
You’ll notice you already have several friend lists, although adding a new list is as simple as clicking the ‘+’ Create List button. Create a list or tap one of the existing ones to see who is in that list. You can then click the ‘Add Friends to List’ button. Now click ‘Manage List’ at the top right, and toggle on or off whether you want to see status updates, photos, games posts, comments and likes, music and videos, and other activity from these people.
- See More Posts from Your Favorite Friends
I guess there maybe comes a day in our lives when you realize that your Facebook feed is full of inspirational quotes and unwanted links from ‘so called friends’ that you wouldn’t even trust for directions to the nearest convenience store. So maybe it’s time to have a re-shuffle and update your preferences.
One sure way to give Facebook’s algorithms a kick up the back side is to decide whether your Facebook friends are ‘close friends’ or just ‘acquaintances’. All the good stuff and updates from your close friends will appear on your news feed, diluting the unwanted drivel from your ‘acquaintances’ post. So how we going to do this? Well, in the ‘Friends’ tab you’ll see a drop-down box next to each of your buddy’s entries. In this you can label them with one of these two all-important tags. Trust me, doing so will increase the quality of your news feed overnight.
- Pirate Jargon for Your Posts and Updates
“Ahoy me shipmates”, Facebook might be the King of the Social Media giants (so acclaimed) but thankfully have not totally lost their sense of humor. Because hidden deep within the bows of the ‘The Good Ship Facebook’ is the ability to turn your language to ‘pirate’, turning the social network into ‘Ye Olde Facebook’ and ‘posts’ to ‘anchors’.
Honestly, it’s in there – just go to Settings >> Language and switch out English for the mother tongue of the high seas. Don’t feel much like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean? There are dozens of other languages to choose from including the Star Wars-sounding but utterly real BasaJawa (the language of Java, if you’re speculating) or the crazy Upside Down English. Now that one WILL send your friends doo-lally….
- Facebook ‘Hacking’ You Off
Unfortunately Facebook account hacking is all too common these days: you might even have been on the receiving end of some strange, distasteful or downright smutty posts or messages from a trusted friend or colleague – with you thinking “really, didn’t know he was into all that???”
Alas, there is no way to make your account totally immune from the hackers, despite all of Facebook’s high-tech security measures, but there is a way to stay on top of the situation 24/7 and react accordingly.
By setting up ‘Login Alerts’, Facebook will drop you an immediate notification whenever your account is accessed from a new device or browser. By going to
Settings >> Security, you can choose to receive an email, Facebook notification or both upon one of these new login attempts. Now that’s peace of mind.
(If you ever do think your account has been compromised, use the link below for help and assistance https://www.facebook.com/help/131719720300233)
- How to Unfriend Somebody Without them Knowing (or hurting their feelings – oh please…)
I have seen all sorts of Social Media warfare and tantrums when unfriending someone on Facebook, mercy me you would think you had chopped their right arm off. But there is a ‘humane’ way to cut people out without all the drama though. Simply unfollow them instead of unfriending them. This completely stops all of their gibberish appearing on your newsfeed, while still offering you full Facebook stalking rights to their accounts when the mood takes….
To do this, hit the ‘Following’ button on the pages of your Facebook foes. You’ll see options to unfollow them as well as ‘See First’. But that’s for people who you want right at the top of your newsfeed, not those who make you want to put all your Facebook-connected devices in a vat of battery acid. Tap the unfollow option and you’re done.
- The Hidden Basketball Game (and Football…)
Now Facebook loves to keep you engaged, and hopefully away from all the other Social Media distractions – so what do they do – throw in a few games to keep you under their spell.
Because scuttled away within Facebook Messenger there is an addictive basketball game to help you whittle away the hours, challenging your chums directly in your chat window. Simply go onto chat, send your ‘opo’ the basketball emoji, and once in the chat window, click on it. You’ll be like Michael Jordan on steroids in no time, with Facebook keeping count of both your high scores.
(Prefer Football ‘keepyuppy’? – same process, just use the black and white football emoji instead)
- Save Anything You Like (links, videos, photos etc.) For a Later Date
Some of Facebook’s functions and features really are fab you know, and this one’s a gem in our eyes. Because you can save what you like, when you like with just a click. Saved in the immortal depths of Facebook archives for you to retrieve at your leisure – perfect.
Just click on the drop down arrow in the right hand corner of the post and select save, and Facebook will tuck it away for you until you’re ready to view or use it.
And when you’re ready to find your ‘saved’ items, just pop over to your ‘Home Page’ news feed and look in the left hand column ‘Favorites’ Bar for the ‘Saved’ tab.
Mark Hartfree is an Author, prolific
Blog writer, World Traveller and Online
Entrepreneur who divides his time between
the UK, South America & the Costa Blanca
Coastline in Spain.
His spare time is taken up between his
children and volunteering for local charities.