Facebook For Dummies book cover

Facebook For Dummies

By: Carolyn Abram and Amy Karasavas Published: 05-04-2021

Be a new face on Facebook!

If you're new to the Facebook user community, don't be shy: you're joining around 2.7 billion users (roughly two-and-a-half Chinas) worldwide, so you'll want to make sure you’re being as sociable as possible. And with more functionality and ways to say hello—like 3-D photos and Video Chat rooms—than ever before, Facebook For Dummies is the perfect, informative companion to get and new and inexperienced users acquainted with the main features of the platform and comfortable with sharing posts, pictures (or whatever else you find interesting) with friends, family, and the world beyond!

In a chatty, straightforward style, your friendly hosts, Carolyn Abram and Amy Karasavas—both former Facebook employees—help you get settled in with the basics, like setting up your profile and adding content, as well as protecting your privacy when you want to decide who can and can't see your posts. They then show you how to get involved as you add new friends, toggle your newsfeed, shape your timeline story, join groups, and more. They even let you in on ways to go pro and use Facebook for work, such as building a promo page and showing off your business to the world. Once you come out of your virtual shell, there'll be no stopping you!

  • Build your profile and start adding friends
  • Send private messages and instant notes
  • Share your memories
  • Tell stories about your day
  • Set your privacy and curate your news feed

Don't be a wallflower: with this book you have the ideal icebreaker to get the party started so you can join in with all the fun!

Articles From Facebook For Dummies

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24 results
How to Search for a Specific Person on Facebook

Article / Updated 11-08-2021

Facebook’s Friend Finder is a great way to build your friend list quickly without a lot of work. After you build it a bit, though, what if you find other people who may want to be your friends? Facebook Search offers you the capability to seek out certain friends by name. The search box in the blue bar on top lets you search a lot of things on Facebook: pages, groups, events, even things your friends have liked. Most often, you use it to search for people. It may be people you're already friends with and you just want to go to their timelines. Sometimes it will be people you aren’t friends with yet but whom you want to find. Basic Search can be a little confusing because Facebook autocompletes the names that you type and assumes you’re trying to get to your friends’ timelines. If you’re the type of person who is used to pressing the Enter key to begin a search, this can lead you landing on friends’ timelines when you meant to search for someone else named James, for example. Two basic ways to use Search in Facebook You’ll wind up using Search two basic ways. The first way is if the name of the person you’re looking for (or at least someone with the same name) appears in the autocomplete menu. You can accomplish that sort of search following these steps: Begin typing the name you're looking for in the search box. Pay attention to the people who appear in the autocomplete menu. Facebook displays first your friends and then friends of friends. There’s a good chance that you may find the person you’re looking for in this menu. If you see the name in the autocomplete menu, use your mouse or arrow keys to highlight the person you're looking for. Click the name or press Enter. This brings you to the person's timeline, where you can verify that you know the person and add them as a friend. Use "See More" for a further search Type the person's full name in the search box. Click See More at the bottom of the search menu. The search menu expands to reveal new options for search. So, if you type Jane Smith and then click See More, you can now either search People Named Jane Smith, Pages Named Jane Smith, or Places Named Jane Smith. Click the People Named option. A blue friend icon is next to this option. A search results page appears with larger previews of people’s profile pictures and timeline info. The right side of the page also has options for narrowing your search using fields such as Gender, Employer, Current City, and so on. Use the fields on the right side of the page to zero in on your actual friend. This might be information like where your friend works or where they're from. When you find the person you’re looking for, add them as a friend.

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Facebook For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 08-30-2021

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.

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How to View Tagged Photos and Videos of Yourself on Facebook

Article / Updated 05-23-2018

Photos and videos of yourself int this context refers to photos and videos in which you're tagged on Facebook. Tags are ways of marking who is in a photo — the online equivalent of writing the names of everyone appearing on the back of a photo print. Tags are part of what make Facebook Photos so useful. Even if you don’t add lots of photos, other people can add photos of you. Photos you’ve been tagged in might be scattered across your friends’ Timelines, so Facebook collects all these photos in the Photos section of your Timeline. You can get there by clicking the Photos tab underneath your cover photo. The Photos section defaults to showing Photos of You. You can also view photos you’ve added (Your Photos) or albums you’ve added (Albums). The Photos of You section shows the most recently tagged photos at the top of the page. As you scroll down, you see older and older photos of yourself. This is a great place to take a trip down memory lane, and also to make sure that you’re aware of all the photos of you that are out there. If you’ve been tagged in a photo and you don’t like that tag, you can always remove the tag by clicking Options from the photo viewer and choosing Remove Tag. Then that photo will no longer be linked to your Timeline, and it won’t appear in the Photos of You section of your Timeline either. If there’s a photo or video you don’t want on Facebook at all, even after you’ve removed the tag, get in touch with your friend and ask him to remove it. If you think it’s offensive or abusive in any way, you can also report the photo and ask Facebook to remove it.

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Safety Tips for Buying and Selling on Facebook

Article / Updated 05-23-2018

While Facebook tries to take some of the guesswork out of buying and selling your used items online, the fact remains that you will be interacting with someone you don’t know. Here are a few basic safety tips to keep in mind: Watch out for scammers: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t let people upend your common sense. There is no reason someone selling something or buying something from you will ever need your passwords, credit card numbers, or anything like that. You should never transfer money to someone until you have the item in your hands and have checked to make sure it is as advertised. Use cash or person-to-person payment methods: You can use Facebook to make payments (if both people are using debit cards), or other apps where the money immediately gets moved from one account to another. Checks can be faked or bounced. Cash is probably your best bet. Try to meet in neutral locations: If possible when arranging to sell someone something, try to meet in a neutral, public location. This makes both people feel safer about, you know, meeting someone from the internet. Let someone know where you’ll be and who it is you are going to meet. Give out your address judiciously: Of course, a neutral location might not be possible, or worthwhile to you, especially if you’re selling something small. So don’t give out your full address to someone until they’ve committed to coming to pick up your item. And if something about them sets off your Spidey sense, don’t force yourself to meet them!

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How to Use Facebook Marketplace on Your Phone

Article / Updated 05-23-2018

Facebook’s Marketplace is easy to browse and use on your phone. To get to it (assuming you are using the Facebook app on an iPhone or Android), tap on the Marketplace icon at the bottom of the Home page (it looks like a little storefront) to start browsing through Marketplace. Use your finger to scroll up and down and browse. Tap on any listings you find interesting to learn more. You can quickly tap the blue “I’m Interested” or “Make Offer” button to let the seller know you’re interested without having to compose a more in-depth message. You may also see other buttons like “Check out on website” or “Add to Cart” from established businesses (as opposed to another individual). Creating a new listing on your phone is very convenient because you can easily take a picture of the item you are selling without having to search your hard drive or transfer photos from your phone to your computer: Tap on the Publisher in Marketplace that says, “What are you listing?” This opens a menu of categories for your listing. Choose from Item for Sale, Vehicles for Sale, Housing for Rent/Sale, Jobs. All categories except Jobs opens an interface for navigating your phone’s camera roll. Tap on a photo to select it or tap the camera icon in the upper-left corner to open your phone’s camera. Point and shoot! When you’ve taken a photo you’re happy with and edited it to your heart’s content, click Use in the upper-right corner. This returns you to your phone’s camera roll. You can take more pictures by returning to the camera or choose existing photos from your phone’s camera roll. After you select the photos you want, click Next in the upper-right corner. This opens the New Item interface. Enter your item’s info (title, price, category, location, and so on) into the fields of the New Item interface. There are some additional options here that are not on your computer. You can choose to offer shipping for the item, or if you are selling one item in multiple colors or styles, you can add that information by clicking the blue Add More Options link. Decide whether you want to share this item on your profile in addition to on Marketplace, and in any Buy/Sell groups you may be a member of. By default, your items only get listed in Marketplace. Tap on the other options to select them as well. Tap Post. Your listing is added to Marketplace. Don’t let the number of steps here fool you. I once listened to someone describe the process of listing multiple items to Facebook as something that was easily accomplished with a tasty beverage in one hand and their phone in the other.

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Fundraising for Causes on Facebook

Article / Updated 05-23-2018

For as long as there’s been a Facebook people have found ways to use it to drum up support for a cause. Virtually every feature has been co-opted at one point or another for causes both serious and silly. People changed their profile pictures to a photo of their school mascot long before Facebook made it easy to put a temporary frame around your profile pic. Anyone who has participated in a fundraising effort like Team in Training has often reached out to their Facebook network for donations and support. In this way, fundraising on Facebook is nothing new, but the tools now available make it much easier to get support from your friends for any sort of cause. You might learn about fundraisers from an invite or see that one of your friends has created or donated to a fundraiser in your News Feed. Much like any other post you might see in your News Feed, these posts have like buttons, a space for comments, and a share button. In addition, they also have a Donate button in the lower right corner of the post, which you can click to initiate a donation. If you want more info about the fundraiser, you click on the fundraiser’s cover photo or title to go to the fundraiser’s page. There you can read the full story about the fundraiser — why your friend has started it, what exactly your money will be accomplishing, and so on. If they are raising money for a nonprofit, it usually makes sense to double-check to see if what your friend says the money is for is the same thing the nonprofit says the money will be for. Clicking Donate on either your friend’s post or the fundraiser’s page opens the donation window. In the top part of this window, choose the amount you wish to donate and decide who can see that you’ve donated. By default, the fact that donations are made is public, though the amount of any donation is kept between you and the person organizing the fundraiser (and the eventual recipient of the donation). You can also choose to keep your donation only visible to friends, or only visible to yourself, though again, the organizer and recipient will always be able to see that you have donated. In the bottom part of the donation window, enter your credit card information or log in to your PayPal account. After you enter all the info needed, click the blue Donate button. Even if you don’t donate to a fundraiser, you can show your support by leaving a post on the fundraiser’s page. Much like writing a post on a friend’s Timeline, this is something that many people will see, so if you’re wanting to offer support to someone more privately, consider sending a message instead.

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How to Create a Fundraiser on Facebook

Article / Updated 05-23-2018

You can start a fundraiser for any reason at any time. Often current events will inspire people to create fundraisers — whether that’s linking to a big charity like the Red Cross after a natural disaster or donating to a memorial fund after the death of a friend or loved one. Another common time for creating a fundraiser is around one’s birthday. Since Facebook promotes your birthday to your friends, it’s a time when you know a lot of people will be visiting your Timeline and leaving a message, so there’s a good chance they’ll see your call to give as well. To get started with your fundraiser, follow these steps: Navigate to the Fundraisers page by clicking Fundraisers in the Explore section of the left-side menu. This brings you to the Fundraisers page, which includes more information about fundraisers and a list of any fundraisers your friends are currently running. Click the green Raise Money button on the left sidebar. This opens a Raise Money window. Click the blue Get Started button. The Raise Money window displays three options for fundraising: Friend, Nonprofit, or Yourself. After you have made your selection, you go to the “Basics” Section of creating a fundraiser. Friend: You will need to enter your friend’s name. Nonprofit: You will need to search through a list of nonprofits to find the one you want. Yourself: You name will get automatically entered. Double check that the correct name or organization is listed in the “Who are you raising money for?” section. Set a fundraising target. It’s usually better to set a slightly lower target and then increase it later once it’s been hit. Pick an end date for your fundraiser. Having an end date helps your friends know how long they have to donate and lets you issue reminders like “only three days left!” Click Next. This brings you to the Tell Your Story section of the process. (For Personal/Friend Fundraising Only) Select a category for your fundraiser. Categories include things like medical, education, sports, and so on. Double-check (or create) a title for your fundraiser. Titles should be brief and descriptive: “John Smith Memorial Fund,” “Help Tyler Pay for College,” “Carolyn’s Fundraiser for RAINN.” Tell your story. Use as much space as you need to explain why you are creating the fundraiser and what the money will go towards. This is a great place to anticipate any questions your friends may have about the fundraiser: explain why you are fundraising, why you were moved to donate, how your friend will be receiving the money and any other information you think might be relevant. Click Next. This brings you to the Pick a Cover Photo section. Pick a cover photo. Facebook recommends default cover photos for your fundraiser depending on the organization or the category. You can use what Facebook recommends or click Edit in the lower-right corner of the cover preview to choose a different option or choose a photo from your computer. Click Create. This brings you to your Fundraiser’s page. In the case of fundraisers for nonprofits, your fundraiser is automatically published to Facebook (and, keep in mind, all fundraisers are public). In the case of fundraisers for individuals, Facebook reviews such fundraisers to make sure they follow their standards. If you are creating a personal fundraiser, you must be at least 18 years old. Facebook prompts you here to invite friends and post about your fundraiser.

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How to Use Buy/Sell Groups on Facebook

Article / Updated 05-23-2018

In addition to Marketplace, many people use Buy/Sell Groups on Facebook to buy and sell used items. You can use both (and, in fact, Facebook makes it easy to post Marketplace listings to Buy/Sell groups you belong to and vice versa). Usually people tend to use Buy/Sell groups for the following reasons: Groups require membership: Because members of a group must actively join that group, this acts as a bit of a filter on both the number of people who will see your listing and the type of buyer/seller you are interacting with. Not to say that the Buy and Sell safety tips don’t apply, it just means that you are sharing listings with a particularly interested group of people. Groups can get quite specific: Buy/Sell groups often limit themselves to certain neighborhoods, so I can accomplish just that. They also can be for very specific categories of items, such as outdoor gear, children’s gear, and housing. This can make your browsing more targeted. Groups often have a trade element: In addition to selling more locally and in a more community-based way, many Buy/Sell groups offer an option to trade items. If you are short on cash or hoping to get rid of a few of your own possessions, the barter system might be what you’re looking for. Beyond this, keep an eye out for local “Buy Nothing” groups, built around the minimalist notion that we don’t need to buy anything new, ever. In those groups, members can create requests for items and other members, if they are able, fulfill those requests. The mechanics of using Buy/Sell groups are very similar to any other group—you use the Publisher, comment on posts you’re interested in, and message other people in the group. You can look for Buy and Sell groups near you by clicking the Buy and Sell Groups link in the left-side menu. This brings you to a Buy and Sell Groups home page, which displays a few of the local groups you might be interested in. Click the Join Group button next to any of the groups that look appealing to you. Browsing and buying in a Buy/Sell Facebook group A Buy/Sell group looks pretty much like most other groups. The main differences are that the Publisher defaults to Sell Something instead of prompting you to start a discussion. Under the Publisher is a preview of items that are currently for sale. Scroll down on the page to view the most recent listings. These listings should look familiar to you—they’re just posts, albeit with titles and fields for prices. Some posts will have comment threads where people ask questions about the item’s condition, pick up locations, or other related topics. In general, people don’t use comment threads to perform the final negotiations for buying and picking up an item. Instead, when they’re ready to make an offer, most people message the seller directly (and there is a handy Message Seller button in the lower-right corner of the post). If you are really on the hunt for something, you can try using the search bar in the left menu to search for that item within the group’s posts. You can also click on the Items for Sale link in the left-hand menu to view a condensed list of all the items currently for sale within the group. Selling items in a Buy/Sell Facebook group If you want to list something for sale in a Buy/Sell group, click in the Publisher. This is the little text box near the top of the group (under the cover photo). When you click in it, the Sell Something box opens. You’ll need to fill out the following fields: What are you Selling: Your answer to this question becomes the title of your post, so be descriptive. Price: Let people know how much you are looking for them to pay for the item. Location: Facebook may automatically fill in your zip code. Delete this info to use a different zip code. Description: Add any details about your item that may be relevant—condition, measurements, and so on. Photos: Add any photos of the item you are selling. In general, I’ve found that more than one photo is usually helpful to people. At the bottom of the Sell Something box, next to the blue Post button, is a menu for deciding whether you want to add your listing to Marketplace in addition to whichever group you are about to post to. By default, Facebook assumes you will want to list it in both places. If you only want to list it in the group, click this menu and deselect Marketplace. If you are a member of more than one Buy/Sell group, you also have the option here to create a listing that gets posted to those groups as well. When you’ve added all the info you need to your listing, click the blue Post button. You’ll be notified about any comments on the listing, as well as any incoming messages from people who are interested in buying it. Using Buy/Sell groups on your phone Much like using Marketplace, using Buy/Sell groups on your phone — particularly for selling items — can be even easier because you can take pictures directly from your phone and include them in your listing. If you are sitting at your computer trying to create a listing, you will inevitably need to make about ten trips back to the garage to check your measurements, take a new photo, and so on. Make your life easier and create the listing from where the item is. To navigate to the Buy/Sell group you are interested in using for your sale, type its name into the search bar at the top of the app. You can also tap on the More button in the bottom right corner of the app to view a menu of all the shortcuts, features, and destinations you can go to within Facebook. You can click on your desired Buy/Sell group there, or tap on Buy and Sell Groups to view a preview of all items listed in all the Buy/Sell groups you are a member of.

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How to Create a Listing on Facebook Marketplace

Article / Updated 05-23-2018

If you’re trying to create a listing for something you want to sell on Facebook, you can easily do so by going to Marketplace and following these steps: Click the blue Sell Something button in the upper-right corner of the page. This opens the Sell Something box. Enter the item’s info into the appropriate space. What are you selling? This will be the title of your item in Marketplace so best to make it short and descriptive: IKEA Table and Chairs, Bundle of 3T clothing, Vintage iPad — whatever makes sense for the item your selling. Add price: Decide how much you think your item is worth and add a price. If you aren’t sure what price to choose, try searching for similar items already in Marketplace and see what other people are asking for it. Change location: By default, location gets set to your current location. If you want to have this listed in a different location, click the X next to the current location to delete it. Type in your preferred location into the now-empty Add Location field. Depending on where you live, you can often type in a specific neighborhood, not just the main city where you are selling something. Select a category: Click the Select a Category field to open a menu of categories for you to choose from. Describe your item (optional): You don’t have to fill any additional description out, but adding details about the item you’re selling can be helpful. You can describe the condition it’s in, include its measurements, and make any notes about use or care. Add photos of your item by clicking the gray Add Photo box at the bottom of the Sell Something box. This opens an interface for selecting photos from your computer’s hard drive. After you add your photos, you can edit them by hovering your mouse over the thumbnail of the photo you want to edit and clicking the paintbrush icon in the lower-right corner of that thumbnail. Click the X icon to remove that photo entirely. When you’re done, click Post. Your listing immediately goes into Marketplace, where everyone can see it and respond. You can keep track of your listings by going to the Selling section of Marketplace (click Selling in the left-hand menu). Here, you can see all the items you have listed for sale. When you sell something, click the blue Mark as Sold button to take it off the Marketplace. Click the Manage button to open a menu where you can either delete the listing entirely or edit it. All posts to Marketplace are public, which means everyone on Facebook can see them. Don’t post any personally identifying information, such as your address, phone number, or credit card number.

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Browsing and Buying on Facebook Marketplace

Article / Updated 05-23-2018

To check out Facebook’s Marketplace, click on the Marketplace link in the left-side menu on your Home page (it has a little storefront icon). This brings you to Marketplace. Marketplace has its own left-hand menu and search functionality across the top of the page. The bulk of the page is taken up with the listings. Each listing has a photo, title, and info about how recently and where it was posted. The left-hand menu has links to different sections: Browse (where you start), Buying, Selling, and Saved Items. You can also click on any of the categories listed on the left side of the page to check out that specific category of item. Often, when you click on a category, you’ll be able to see further subcategories. For example, when you click on the Family Category, you find that you can in fact drill down on any of the following smaller categories: Toys & Games, Baby & Kids, Pet Supplies, and Health & Beauty. If there’s something in particular you’re looking for, use the search box at the top of the page to search for it by name or keyword. You can also change the city you are searching in (Facebook will autocomplete a city as you type in the name of your desired location). Use the drop-down menu to change the radius of your search. You can search as locally as within two miles of your city or town, or as far as 100 miles away. By default, Facebook sets the radius at forty miles. You can also use the drop-down menus to filter by category and price (you can set a range). There is also a button you can press to just see items that have been listed for free. If you find that you have added so many restrictions that you no longer see any results, click the blue Reset link to undo all the filters you have set. As you are browsing, you may notice some tags on top of various images. Some may note that an item is popular, that it is sold pending pick-up, or that it is free. Whenever you see an item that interests you, click on it to open a larger image of it and view more. When you view an item’s listing, you can click through the various photos of the item (if there are multiple photos of it). To the right of the photos you can view a more detailed description of the item, as well as a map indicating the general area it’s being sold from, and how many people have viewed the item. You can also view the seller’s name and click through to view their public profile. This is one of those places where your sense of whether a profile is real comes into play. You don’t want to start messaging back and forth with a fake or scammy account, so paying attention to when they joined and whether their profile seems fishy is important. Facebook suggests you never include your email, phone number, or financial information in the first message to a seller, and that is sound advice. You can take several actions from the item’s listing. You can mark that you are interested in the item, or save the item so you can go back to it later. You can also click to share the item with an interested friend. Most prominently, if you’re ready to go beyond just looking at an item, click the big blue Message Seller button to start a thread with the seller. Clicking the Message Seller button opens a message window with a blank text box. You can write any questions you have about the item here, or you can choose to use one of the pre-filled text questions listed below. These commonly used phrases, like “I’m interested in this item,” can be added to the body of your message with a simple click. After you finish your message, click the Send Message button to send it. This opens a chat window between you and the sender. If you don’t hear back right away or you leave your computer, you can always find this item and a record of the conversation in the Buying section of Marketplace (click Buying in the left-hand menu of Marketplace). People often refer to messages between buyers and sellers as direct messages (DMs) or private messages (PMs). You might see this term pop up in descriptions like “DM me for pricing” or “PM me for more info.” Often the process of buying something can require a bit of a back-and-forth between you and the seller: you need to agree on a price and method of payment, coordinate a time and location for picking it up or getting it delivered, and then actually go and get the item. The seller might also be managing many incoming messages or people who are interested in the item as well, so try to have patience with each other. If you are looking for something specific, such as a brand of clothing. When you search for something, look at the top of the results for a grey “Follow” button. Click this button to receive notifications any time something that fits your search terms is posted to Marketplace.

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