Little-Known Facebook Power Features
Now that you've been using Facebook for years, you probably feel pretty comfortable in the environment. You know how to do all the fun things like posting, commenting, liking, chatting, and so on. If you're satisfied with that, just keep going. But if you want to take your Facebook use to the next level, check out these super-handy power features.
Personalize Your Newsfeed
Facebook is great for getting all the latest on your friends' activities and your favorite brands. But sometimes "all" might be a bit too much. Facebook gives you tools to refine what you see in your feed. The first one is the Edit Preferences feature. To access it:
- On your Facebook home page, in the left rail, select the three-dot icon next to News Feed.
- Choose Edit Preferences.
- Make your selections from there. For example, under Prioritize who to see first, you can select those people and brands whose posts you never want to miss. Another trick you can use is to select the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner of any post and choose your preferences.
Now you can follow friends, catch up on news, chat, create your own posts, and video call all in one place. It's easy to initiate a video chat with a friend:
- From your profile page, select the Chat screen in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
- Choose the friend you want to chat with, and a new window will pop up with their name at the top.
- To the right of their name, you'll see icons for Start a video chat, Start a voice call, and Options. Select Start a video chat.
- A new video chat screen will appear as the interface for your call.
View All Friend Requests
Facebook keeps track of all your friend requests, even those that went ignored or deleted. To see them, follow these steps:
- At the top of your profile page, select the Friend Request (silhouette of two people) icon.
- At the bottom of the list, select See All.
- At the top of the next screen, select View Sent Requests to be shown the Friend Requests Sent screen.
Sometimes it seems like there are so many interesting things on Facebook and so little time to review them. That's why Facebook has a Save feature. Here's how to save an item:
- From your home page, identify the post you want to save.
- In the upper-right corner of the post, select the three-dot icon and choose Save post.
- The post will be added to your Saved collection, and you'll see a couple of new links appear: X saves this week and Add to a Collection.
- To view your saves, select X saves this week.
- To add to a collection, select Add to a Collection and follow the prompts from there. To view all your saves and organize collections (if you have any), from the home page, in the left rail, select Saved.
If you suspect someone unauthorized has access to your account, you can find out:
- On your Facebook home page, in the top-right corner, select the downarrow and choose Settings.
- In the left rail, select Security and Login.
- On the Security and Login page, look under Where You're Logged In. If anything listed there isn't one of your devices or a device of someone you've authorized, you've got a snooper.
- To remedy this situation, to the right of any unwanted devices, select the three-dot icon and choose Log Out. (This action also comes in handy if you've been using someone else's computer for Facebook and forgot to log out.)
No doubt you've heard the recent news about Facebook security issues. You're always taking a chance when you use online applications, but there are steps you can take on Facebook to mitigate your risks, including two-factor authentication which requires a password plus a code sent to your phone to log in. Here's how to enable it:
- From your home page, in the upperright corner, select the down-arrow and choose Settings.
- In the left rail, select Security and Login.
- Go down to Two-Factor Authentication and select Edit next to Use two-factor authentication.
- Follow the prompts from there.
- While you're on the Security and Login screen, consider also enabling the Get alerts about unrecognized logins and Choose 3 to 5 friends to contact if you get locked out features.
Maybe you've accepted friend requests from certain family members or coworkers just to be polite, but you don't necessarily want them seeing everything you post. There's an easy way to restrict what certain people see (NOTE: Anyone can still see posts with the Public setting).
- Navigate to the friend's page who you want to restrict.
- At the top of the page, select Friends.
- In the drop-down menu, choose Add to another list, then select Restricted. (You may have to scroll down to see it.)
- You'll get a warning letting you know the friend will no longer be able to see anything you post unless you make it Public. Select Okay.
- If you decide you want to "unrestrict" that friend, go through the same process and deselect Restricted.
Download Your Facebook
Take a deep breath and get ready for… everything you've ever done on Facebook. You can download this information so you have a copy on your hard drive. This feature comes in handy for looking back on fond memories or for archiving your activity if you ever delete your Facebook account. It's also a good security exercise because it reveals everything Facebook has saved about you.
- On your home page, in the upperright corner, select the down-arrow and choose Settings.
- In the left rail, select Your Facebook Information.
- Select View next to Download Your Information.
- On the next screen, you'll be given some choices about how to download your data. You can also select or deselect certain types of information. Make your selections, then select Create File.
What Happens to Your Facebook When You Pass Away?
Just as important as managing what happens to your financial and physical assets when you pass away is managing your digital assets. If you don't do anything, when you pass away your Facebook account will be memorialized. This means people can still post on your site, but no one will be able to accept friend requests, adjust privacy settings, or close the account. For those things to happen, you must assign someone as your Legacy Contact. Here's how:
- From your Facebook home page, in the upper-right corner, select the down-arrow, then choose Settings.
- Under General Account Settings, select Edit next to Manage Account.
- Enter the name of the friend you want to manage your account, then select Add.