Facebook For Dummies
Facebook is one of the dominant social networking sites in the world. Facebook lets you create Friend Lists and 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 Five 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|
|Friend Requests||Friends asking to connect with you.||Click the Friend Requests icon next to the Facebook logo on the Home page. If you have pending requests, an indicator appears.|
|Upcoming Birthdays and Events||A list of upcoming events and friends’ birthdays occurring today.||Check the Events box in the right column of the Home page. For birthdays, only the names of those friends who have listed their birthdays show up.|
|Inbox||Messages from friends, Groups, or Events you’re a part of, or Pages you like.||Click the Messages tab on the left side of the Home page. A number appearing in parentheses indicates the unread messages count.|
|News Feed||A continuous stream of updates about your friends’ activities on and off Facebook.||Look at the Home page — the continuous stream flows down the wide center column.|
|Friends Online||A list of your friends who are online and free to chat. You may need to enable Chat to see this list.||Look at the list on the right side of the Home Page. A green dot means that friend is online.|
Finding 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 your classmates and coworkers||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 in the right column of your Home page to see whom Facebook suggests.|
|Keep an eye on your friends’ feeds||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.|
Celebrating 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 Timeline||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 Publisher in the middle of the screen, and enter your message.|
|Poke them||A Poke is a casual gesture that can mean I’m thinking of you. Only the recipient is aware of your Poke.||Go to a friend’s Timeline and click the drop down menu on the far right next to the Message button. Click the Poke button.|
|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 into the Publisher above your Stories. Then, begin typing your friend's name. You can then select your friend's name from the list that appears, and when you post, they'll be notified.|
|Call them||This is a good old-fashioned verbal birthday wish.||Go to their Timeline, click the Info tab, and look for their phone number located under Contact Info. Use your phone to call them — and maybe sing!|
Communicating 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 under the Timeline’s cover image.|
|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.||Click the Chat bar in the lower-right corner of the Home page. Look 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 Publisher above their Stories. Any of their friends who come to their Timeline see what you wrote.|
|Send a mobile message||When you’re out and about and have something you want to say to a friend who’s not with you, you can send the friend a message through Facebook using your phone.||You have to set up Facebook Mobile, but then, using SMS or a mobile application, use your thumbs to get your message to your friend.|
|Write something on your own Timeline||If you have something you think might interest friends, but you’re not sure who or how much, you can post to your Timeline. Your friends may read it in their News Feed or see it when they visit your Timeline.||Go to your own Timeline. In the Publisher above your Stories, click Status and write whatever you think might interest some of your friends. Wait for the comments and messages to trickle back.|
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 page. It contains all your stories, your photos and videos, a list of your friends, your favorite activities and interests, and what used to be called your Wall. This is where your friends can leave you messages, and 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 are connected to on Facebook. Friending is the act of sending someone a friend request; all friendships have to be confirmed by both people in order for it to be official on Facebook.
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.