Facebook For Dummies
Facebook is one of the dominant social networking sites in the world. Facebook lets you share photos, videos, links, status updates, and much more with your friends. As you discover how this social networking site works, use this handy reference to help you find people on Facebook, communicate with friends, and figure out what to do as soon as you log in.
Top 5 Things to Check When You Log Into Facebook
Facebook is all about staying in touch with friends. Right after you log into Facebook, check out which of your friends has a birthday coming up, the requests you've received, and what your friends are up to.
|Check Your . . .||What It Is||How to Do It|
|News Feed||A continuous stream of updates about your friends’ activities on and off Facebook.||Look at the Home page — News Feed flows down the wide center column with stories and posts from your friends.|
|Upcoming Birthdays and Events||A list of upcoming events and friends’ birthdays occurring today.||Check the box on the right side of the Home page. For birthdays, only the names of those friends who have listed their birthdays show up.|
|Inbox||Messages from friends or other people on Facebook.||Click Messages in the left sidebar of any page on Facebook. A number appearing next to it shows how many unread messages you have.|
|Friend Requests||Friends asking to connect with you.||Click the Friend Requests icon in the blue bar on top of any Facebook page to open the Friend Requests window. Click Confirm or Not Now to respond to pending requests.|
|Close Friends||A view of News Feed that focuses just on posts from your closest friends.||On the right side of your Home page, click the down arrow beneath the words News Feed. Click Close Friends from the menu of options that appears.|
Find People You Know on Facebook
A popular way to use Facebook is to find people from your past or get to know friends of friends. To find people you know on Facebook and to build your Friend List, check out this table, which outlines a few easy ways to do just that.
|What to Do||How to Do It|
|See which people in your e-mail address book or instant messenger (IM) buddy list are on Facebook.||Click the Friend Requests icon next to the Facebook logo on the Home page. Click Find Friends in the upper-right corner. Facebook allows you to import from a variety of popular e-mail and IM services.|
|Search for your classmates and co-workers.||Click the Friend Requests icon next to the Facebook logo on the Home page. Click Find Friends in the upper-right corner and then click the Other Tools section beneath the e-mail options. Click the links to Find Classmates and Find Coworkers.|
|Look at your friends’ friends.||There’s a good chance you know the friends of your friends. To view their friends, go to their Timelines and click the Friends section.|
|Check out people you may know.||Based on which friends you already have, Facebook has ideas about people you might know. Check out the People You May Know box on the right side of your Home page.|
|Keep an eye on people your friends’ friend.||Whenever your friends make new friend connections, stories about those connections appear on their Timelines and may also appear in your News Feed. You probably know many of the same people as your friends, so keep your eyes peeled for these stories.|
Celebrate Your Friends’ Birthdays on Facebook
Celebrating birthdays on Facebook is a great way to show your friends you care about them. Facebook birthday celebrations are fun, inexpensive, and easy to do. Here's how:
|What to Do||What It Is||How to Do It|
|Write on their Timelines.||Formerly called the Wall, this public forum usually fills up with well-wishes on a person’s birthday.||Go to a friend’s Timeline, find the Share box below their cover photo and enter your message.|
|Poke them.||A poke is a casual gesture that can mean I’m thinking of you. Only the recipients are aware of your poke.||Go to a friend’s Timeline and click the gear icon in the bottom right of her cover photo. Select Poke from the menu that appears.|
|Tag them in a status update.||Status updates are your own posts to your friends on Facebook. You can add tags to posts to give a shout-out to the people you mention.||Go to your Timeline and start typing a status in the Share box. Then begin typing your friend's name. Select your friend's name from the list that appears, and when you post, he'll be notified.|
|Give them a gift.||Facebook’s gift shop allows you to purchase gifts for friends. Facebook handles the credit card transactions and getting your friends' addresses for shipping real gifts.||Go to their Timelines and click the Give Gift button in the bottom right of their cover photo. A gift shop window opens where you can browse gifts both digital (like gift cards) and analog (like candy).|
|Call them.||This is a good old-fashioned verbal birthday wish.||Go to their Timelines, click the Info tab, and look for their phone number located under Contact Info. Use your phone to call them up!|
Communicate with Your Friends on Facebook
Meet up with friends on Facebook. You can communicate with your friends on Facebook in a whole host of ways: chatting, writing on their Timelines, sending messages, and more.
|What to Do||What It Is||How to Get There|
|Send a message.||Similar to an e-mail, but short, sweet, and no need to remember any e-mail addresses.||Go to your friend’s Timeline. Click the Message button in the bottom-right corner of his cover photo.|
|Chat.||Talk to someone right here, right now . . . provided that person is online. You can have as many simultaneous chat conversations as you can keep track of.||Look in the left sidebar on any page to see which of your friends have green dots next to their names, and then click the name of whomever you’d like to chat with.|
|Write on their Timelines.||To communicate with friends in public, to tease them, or to congratulate them for something their friends might want to hear about, write on their Timelines.||Go to the Timeline of any friend and write in the Share box below her cover photo. When her friends view their Timelines, they’ll see what you wrote.|
|Tag friends in a status post.||If you’re posting something that you know might interest certain people, you can tag them so they’ll be notified about the post.||Click in the Share box on your Timeline or Home page and type your post. Start typing your friend’s name and select it from the menu of names that Facebook generates as you type.|
Common Facebook Terminology
If you're new to Facebook, you'll run into some unfamiliar terminology. Here are some common Facebook terms and their definitions; get to know them so you can get the most out of Facebook:
Your Timeline is your Profile Page. It contains all your posts, your photos and videos, a list of your friends, your favorite activities and interests, and any biographical info you’ve chosen to share. This is where your friends can leave you messages and where you can update the world with anything you feel like sharing.
The News Feed is a continuous stream of updates about your friends’ activities on and off Facebook. It appears on your Home page.
A friend is someone you're connected to on Facebook. Friending is the act of sending someone a friend request; all friendships must be confirmed by both people in order for the friendship to be official on Facebook.
A status update is a short post you share on Facebook talking about what you’re doing, thinking, or feeling at the moment. People update their status about everything from what they’re eating to sharing memories about a loved one to advocating for a particular political position.
A poke is a casual gesture that means, I’m thinking of you. The person you poke receives the poke on her Home page when she logs in and has the choice to poke you back. Only she (and not her friends) is aware that you poked her.