Facebook: you love it, you hate it, you can't stop using it. Even after that one obnoxious thing you posted about your kid got you featured on STFU, Parents.
While most of us love to complain about Facebook—it's invading our privacy! It encourages people to behave like narcissistic assholes! It totally sucks for a variety of hilarious reasons!—let's be real, we all use it. And we probably always will, because no matter what amazing new social media creation is invented from here on out, our photo-loving elderly family members will never be able to learn a new website EVER.
While Facebook continues to roll out new features at a breakneck pace, if you're like me, you probably don't know how to use half of the existing whistles and bells. Here's a list of a few handy tricks for improving your Facebook experience:
Customize the links you share. When you post a link to your status, Facebook automatically includes the page's title and description, but did you know you can edit that information? After you add the link, but before you hit the Post button, just click on the title or description and you'll get an editing box. Then you can change "Stocks Off Highs After Report on EU Ratings" to "My Cat's Breath Smells Like Cat Food"—or, you know, whatever.
Create a Group document . I don't use groups, so I had no idea this feature even existed: within a Group page, there's a Docs link at the top of the page. If you click that, you get the option to create a text-only document that everyone in the group can edit. Once you save the doc, it's posted to the group's feed just like a status update. An Edit button allows people to make changes, and previous revisions can be viewed by clicking Recent Changes.
Add more EMOTICON! I'm not saying I approve of your emoticon habit, I'm just saying if that's your thing, there's a way to add more flair to your updates. If you've been typing :) and waiting for a big old cartoon smiley face to appear, you've probably noticed that Facebook has been ignoring your needs. No worries, that's what the Facebook Symbols page is for. Just copy and paste any of the web-friendly, universal symbols into the box, and Facebook will be happy to include all the various symbols you need to get your point across. ⒸⓞⓞⓁ, right? ❤
Get that annoying ticker out of your face. Tired of seeing that scrolling bar on the right side of your screen that shows every blessed thing your friends say and do? Unfortunately you can't delete the whole thing, but you can minimize it by grabbing the bar at the bottom and dragging it upwards as far as possible. That hides the majority of the ticker with your Facebook chat window. If you're a little more technically inclined, you can also hide the ticker by installing a Chrome extension or running a Firefox user script.
Control who can see your status updates. Want to say something on a public social media website but don't want everyone to be able to see it? You should probably give a little more thought to your overall strategy, Secret Squirrel, but you can actually customize who can see your updates. Click the drop-down menu next to Post and then select Custom to get a dialogue box that allows you to choose lists or specific people. You can make your status visible to—or hide it from—anyone you want. Just a gentle warning, though: if it's on the Internet at all, it's probably best to assume it's public information.
Did you know about all these Facebook tricks? Got any of your own to share?
Image via Facebook