How to Navigate the Left Side of Facebook’s Home Page
The left column of your Facebook Home page is very important. Some of the options there follow you around no matter what page you are on. Here’s a summary of these links and what happens when you click them:
Name and Timeline Picture: This link takes you to your own timeline.
News Feed: You may notice that News Feed is highlighted with a light blue background when you are on your Home page. This is because News Feed, which occupies the central real estate of your screen, is the default view of your Home Page. News Feed is a way to keep up with what your friends are doing as well as see their most recent photos, videos, and activities.
Messages: This link opens your Messages Inbox. Facebook’s messaging system is actually pretty different than what you may be used to in your e-mail, but very useful.
Events: This link brings you the Events page, where you can see upcoming birthdays and events you’ve been invited to. Events can range from intimate birthday parties to big talks or lectures.
Bookmarks: You can bookmark an app, group, list, or page so that it remains in the left column for convenient one-click access. These bookmarks, along with the three previously mentioned links, comprise your Favorites section.
Groups: If you’re brand new to Facebook, you may just see a link that says Create Group. Any Groups you join appear in this space. Clicking the name of the Group brings you to that Group’s main page.
Apps: Again, all home pages look different depending on what applications and games the owner uses. Clicking the name of the game or app brings you to it.
Lists: Lists are an optional way to organize friends by categories relevant to you, such as family or co-workers. There are three types of lists you should know about. Custom lists are Friend Lists you create on your own from the Lists page. Smart lists are automatically created for you and populated with friends based on common timeline information, such as where you attended college. The Close Friends and Acquaintances lists are automatically created, but you select which friends appear there.
Pages: The look of your home page varies depending on whether or not you are the admin of a Facebook Page. For example, a restaurateur who maintains a Page for his café would see the café’s Page listed in this section.
Friends on Chat: Break out your reading glasses. These tiny pictures represent friends whom you can instant message using Facebook’s Chat feature. Chat is actually part of the messaging system. You can click someone’s face to start a chat, or type their name into that search box right above these little thumbnail photos. Any chats you start will pop up in the bottom-right corner of the screen, where you may notice a little floating box that says Chat.