11 Useful Facebook Tips and Tricks

By Tracey Dowdy

Seventy one percent of American adults use Facebook. That’s a whole lot of Online Moms. Facebook has been around for what feels like forever and, although most of us keep up with updates and changes, these hacks can make Facebook more secure, more customized, and lot more fun. 

Customize your Newsfeed

Facebook uses complex algorithms to track your “Likes” and clicks. To customize your Newsfeed even further, go to your Profile page and click on Friends. Anyone not a close friend will appear without a star. If you want to follow someone more closely, click on the friend’s checkmark and add them to your Close Friends group. Now when you go to your main Facebook page you’ll see Close Friends listed on the left. Click on a friend to see what they’ve shared and based on your comments and Likes, Facebook will intuitively learn what you like and over time will become more customized to your preferences.

Disable “Seen” Read Receipt

If you’ve ever been judged for not responding immediately to a post – not that that’s ever happened to me, ahem – you’ll be happy to know you can turn off the “Read Receipt.” Although you won’t be able to see when someone has read your message, by installing Facebook Unseen Chrome extension or Chat Undetected for Firefox and Internet Explorer they won’t know when you’ve read theirs either.

Search for Specific Posts

At the top of the page is a “Search” box. You can search for people, specific posts by keywords, or even check out restaurants, vacation spots, or anything else your heart desires.

Send Money

You can actually send your friends up to $10,000 a month and may I say if you’re in a position to do so, I’d like to be added to your Friend list. The feature works similarly to PayPal and Venmo, and by clicking on the $ icon in Facebook Messenger chats, Facebook allows payment via your debit card. Go to Settings > Payments to set up your account.

Download ALL your Facebook Data

If you want a complete record of your Facebook activity, you can download everything – and I mean everything, including photos, videos, posts, messages. Go to Settings > Download a copy of your Facebook data. Click Start My Archive and enter your password when prompted. Facebook will prepare the file and email you when it is ready for you to download.

Create a Reading List

If a friend posts a link to an article you want to read later, click on the arrow in the top right corner of the post and then choose Save Link. All of your bookmarked articles will appear under Saved in the left column or, in the mobile app, in the More tab > Saved.

Export Your Friends’ Birthdays to Google Calendar, iCal or Outlook

Once upon a time, I remembered birthdays but over time that information was replaced with how many cups in a pint and important medical advice like “Starve a fever, feed a cold”…or is it “Feed a fever, starve a cold” or  “Feed a dog, starve a cat”… never mind. To export your Facebook friends to your calendar, go to Events on the left side of the page. Copy the link for “Upcoming Events” or “Birthdays.” Open Google Calendar, click the down arrow next to Other Calendars > Add by URL, and paste the URL.

Turn off Chat Status

One of my responsibilities at another job is posting to the company’s Facebook page, so I’m on Facebook a lot at work. The key is I’m at work – I don’t have time to chat. To turn off your chat status: from the desktop open the chat window, click the gear icon in the top right corner and select Advanced Settings. Then, click Turn off Chat for All Friends to stay incognito or Turn off Chat for Only Some Friends and from here add friend lists or names of people you’d like to block from seeing when you’re online.

Block Game Requests

Is there anything more annoying than Game Requests? Well, maybe the music my dentist plays in her waiting room or a kid kicking the back of your seat all the way to Phoenix, but for me, Game Requests is right up there. In the Facebook app, go to More > Settings > Notifications > Mobile Push and uncheck Application Requests and voila, no more Candy Crush requests.

Make Calls

If both you and your friend have Facebook Messenger installed, you can make free calls to one another. Open Messenger and find the friend you want to call. Open the chat window and then tap on the phone icon in the top right corner. Calls use Wi-Fi or cellular data but not minutes.

Share Your Post with a Select Group

If you want to share a post with a select group, next to the Post button select “Who should see this?” the select Custom and choose who to share with or who to exclude.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

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