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More than a social media platform

More than a social media platform
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What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning and glare at your bright phone? For many, it’s checking Facebook to see what new in the world at large or the world of their friends. It’s second nature, but are there features you don’t know about? Have you figured out how to hit Facebook’s ‘snooze’ button on your post-happy friend from school yet?

Facebook, the social media powerhouse, has now been around since 2004. If you think all the way back to that mid 21st century era, I’m sure you’ll be impressed (or horrified) by your own personal growth. Facebook has grown too, finding new ways to help, connect and entertain you. The platform has secret hacks, hidden gems and surprising tools at your fingertips to get the most out of your online experience.

Unfollowing (like unfriending, but without the drama)

Unfollowing (like unfriending, but without the drama)
VIA FACEBOOK.COM

Everyone has those few Facebook friends whose posts are always annoying or argumentative or both. You roll your eyes (or worse) every time your run across them and debate cutting them off for your own sake. But if those friends are your real-life friends or relatives, unfriending them could cause some tumult in the real world. Here’s the solution: click the ‘Following’ button at the top of the page and select ‘Unfollow.’ You’ll stop seeing their posts, you’ll still be ‘friends’ with them, and their feelings don’t get hurt. Win-win!

Discovering unrequited friendship

Discovering unrequited friendship
VIA FACEBOOK.COM

Go to the ‘Friends’ section of your profile and click ‘Friend Requests.’ You’ll be able to see who sent requests to you, but when you ‘view sent requests,’ you’ll see who ignored your own. Sure, it may hurt a bit to know that these people denied your friendship, but it’s their loss. You’re better off without them.

Read on to find out if someone has blocked you on Facebook.

Clearing your search history

Clearing your search history
VIA FACEBOOK.COM

Every Facebook user makes some searches they’re not proud of, whether it’s an ex’s profile or something not safe for work. But never fear: you can erase all traces of them. Click the downward-pointing arrow in the top right-hand corner of your screen and go to ‘Activity Log.’ From there, click ‘More’ under ‘Comments’ and look for ‘Search history.’ If there’s one particular search you’re less than proud of, search through the chronological entries and click the crossed circle next to one to delete it. Otherwise, you can wipe your slate clean by clicking ‘Clear searches’ at the top of the page.

Forgetting birthdays (on purpose)

Forgetting birthdays (on purpose)
VIA FACEBOOK.COM

This one is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, we all love to be reminded of your cousin’s birthday so you can send that balloon emoji-filled text and get all the credit you deserve. On the other, we also hate being constantly reminded of the birthdays of long-lost high school acquaintances. While there’s no way to choose whose birthday you can get notified for, you can turn off all birthday notifications by going into ‘Settings’ (under the upper right-hand arrow), ‘Notifications,’ and then ‘On Facebook.’ That lists everything you get notified for, including groups you’re in, pages you run, and yes, birthdays. If you trust your memory, this might be a game changer.

Prioritising your favourites

Prioritising your favourites
VIA FACEBOOK.COM

Whether you have 100 Facebook friends or 1000, you definitely don’t care about every single thing every one of them posts. Thankfully, you can prioritise your close friends that you actually want to hang out with and keep up with. In the ‘Friends’ section of your profile, you’ll see that everyone has a box next to their names that says ‘Friends.’ Click on that and select ‘Close friends’ for the people you truly consider, well, close friends. You’ll be notified whenever those select, lucky few post on Facebook. They’ll also be put on a ‘Close Friends’ list, so you can share things exclusively with them..

Want to make new friends? Here are some simple ways to make friends as an adult.

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Seeing more of what you love

Seeing more of what you love
VIA FACEBOOK.COM

Mark Zuckerberg never sleeps, and one of his most popular (and constantly changing) algorithms helps you prioritise what shows up first on your newsfeed when you log in. This way, you get more of what you want to see and less of what you don’t. Now you’ll never miss a new Reader’s Digest post. Go to that outlet’s Facebook page, click the ‘Following’ button, and then click ‘See first.’ Now, new posts from that page will appear at the top of your feed.

Planning ahead, just in case

Planning ahead, just in case
VIA FACEBOOK.COM

This one is a sensitive topic, because discussing tragedy, loss, and death is never popular. While Facebook understandably may not be the biggest concern in your end-of-life matters, it’s worth noting that Facebook is trying to help you out beyond your time as an active user. That’s why you can set up a Legacy Contact, someone who can manage your account when you pass away. They won’t be able to post as you (otherwise, people would assume they’re talking to your ghost!), but they can pin a post detailing things like a memorial service, respond to friend requests, and change your profile picture. To choose your Legacy Contact, go to ‘General Account Settings,’ then ‘Manage Your Account.’ You can also request that your account is deleted after you pass.

Getting and staying informed

Getting and staying informed
VIA FACEBOOK.COM

Facebook, believe it or not, might know more about your local government than you do. But don’t worry, the app is learning info to help you learn, connect, and even vote! Go to facebook.com/townhall to see exactly who is your local, state, and federal representatives are, based on your address. You can also opt-in for reminders about upcoming elections to remind you to get out the vote.

Read on for the Facebook scams you need to avoid getting tricked into.

Helping you learn a language

Helping you learn a language
VIA FACEBOOK.COM

Facebook is used by around 2 billion active users worldwide. That means the app and site need to understand, write, and be available in the languages of all of those users. As of 2020, there are around 101 languages offered by Facebook with over 300,000 translators working to keep it running smoothly. If you’re trying to brush up on your language skills, maybe try incorporating it into your social media. Or, if you’re just looking for a little fun, try the ‘Pirate’ and ‘Upside Down.’ Go to ‘Language’ in your ‘Settings’ and edit the question, ‘What language do you want to use Facebook in?’ Use the drop-down to explore the dozens of languages you can choose from. Pro tip: you’ll find Pirate and Upside Down as versions of English.

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