10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Facebook Content

By Carolyn Abram

This list is about some of the ways you can go beyond the basics of Facebook. Some of these things are ways to make your content a little more special, a little less rushed. Others are ways to take stock of your history on Facebook, organize it, and get nostalgic for it.

Remember the past

Quick, what were you doing a year ago? Not, like, in general. But exactly 365 days ago. Were you having a good day or a bad one? Did you go to the grocery or to a party or just to work like normal? If you’ve been using Facebook for over a year, and like most people, use it every day, you can find out using the On This Day app.

On This Day is an app created by Facebook and is available to you as soon as you create your Facebook account. You can find it by looking in the Apps section of the left sidebar and clicking On This Day.

On This Day is pretty simple: It resurfaces posts you made on this day in the past. Depending on how long you’ve been on Facebook, it could be from several years ago or from just last year. Your memory might be a photo you shared or a status post or a wall post someone left for you.

You can repost or comment on these types of discoveries and share the memory that way. You can also choose to be notified about your On This Day memories or you can just check out the app whenever you’re in need of a bit of nostalgia. Facebook will also occasionally post a memory to the top of your News Feed (it won’t be shared with your friends unless you choose to share it with them).

Scrapbook your baby photos

If you’re the parent of young kids and you choose to share photos of them on Facebook, you might run into a problem where you and your spouse or partner are constantly adding one-off photos of the cuteness, but then it’s hard to find a particular photo on Facebook when you want to.

Facebook created a special way to compile photos of your kids called Scrapbook. Scrapbook lets you create a tag for your child without creating a profile for them. You can then tag your kid in photos. Only you and your partner are allowed to tag your child, so you don’t have to worry about them being tagged in photos without your permission.

To create a scrapbook, navigate to the About section of your Timeline and click to add a family member in the Family and Relationships section. When you add your son or daughter, you can click a box to “Add Scrapbook.” Once you’ve saved the relationship, the scrapbook is created and you will be prompted to tag photos you’ve already added to Facebook. After you’ve created your scrapbook you can keep adding to it by continuing to tag your child in posts about her.

Say thanks

Facebook’s Say Thanks feature allows you to create a quick little video to thank a friend for being, well, your friend. Videos scan through a few photos with text interwoven to tell your friend thanks for just being them. You can choose from three basic scripts: Old Friend, Friend, or Family.

To create your Say Thanks video, you can choose the friend you’d like to say thanks to. Once you’ve chosen the friend, Facebook displays a collection of photos you’ve both been tagged in. You can choose the photos you want in your video by clicking on them. Preview your video and then click the green Share Video button at the top of the page to add it to Facebook. All your friends will be able to see the video. If you’re someone who is prone to crying, don’t forget the tissues.

Give your photos some flair

Whenever you add a photo from the Publisher, you can add some creative touches to the photo by clicking the “Edit Photo” paintbrush icon. These editing options are just that — options. They aren’t required and no one will mind if you just post your photo as a photo. At the same time, these options can just make your photo a little more . . . exceptional.

Options include adding filters; cropping and rotating your photo; adding text to your photo; and adding stickers to your photo.

Review the last year (or years)

Every winter Facebook offers the ability to look back on everything that’s happened to you in the last year. Often played as a slide show, Year in Review videos highlight the most important parts of your year — the milestones compiled into a digital album, no trip to the scrapbook store required.

Facebook periodically makes other sorts of review videos for various occasions. On its birthday (February 4) it often offers the ability to “Look Back” through everything that you’ve ever done since you joined Facebook. Keep your eyes peeled for Facebook promoting these sorts of videos at the top of your News Feed. You aren’t required to make one, but they can be pretty fun.

Track your feelings

One way to enhance your status updates is to include extra information about what you’re feeling. To do this, you just need to click the smiley face icon in the bottom of the Publisher. This opens a menu for adding details about what you’re doing or feeling. Choosing to add what you’re feeling lets you choose from a host of different emotions (and accompanying emoji).

When your friends see your post, they’ll also see what you were feeling. Adding your emotional state to a post isn’t required, but it is a neat way to provide commentary on whatever it is you are posting about. You could post a photo of a beautiful sunset, but you might be feeling blessed or lonely or bored or impatient. Sharing what you’re feeling helps your friends feel closer to you.

Add tags

In addition to tagging friends in photos and posts, you can tag almost any thing in your posts. You can tag famous people, television shows, movies, bands, companies. Honestly, almost anything. To start tagging, simply type the @ symbol and begin typing the name of the person, place, or thing you want to tag. As you type, Facebook will auto-complete with suggestions.

When you see the one you want, click on it. So if you’re excited for the new Star Wars, you can tag it, and when friends mouse over the tag, they will see a preview of its Page. They can then click on the tag to view the Star Wars Page and check out all the cool movie posters. You don’t have to have previously liked a Page to tag it; just type @ and go.

Riff with friends

If you’re someone who likes to create videos with friends, Riff is the app for you. Riff is an app built by Facebook for your smartphone. You can use it to quickly create a topic and then film a clip about that topic. You can share it with friends and they can add their own video clips to the topic. Whenever you get the video to a point that you like, you can choose to share it on Facebook (or just enjoy it from the Riff app).

Use stickers or GIFs in your messages

In conversations, there’s so much more going on than what’s said. There are gestures, expressions, emphasis. No matter how fast we get at communicating via text, there’s always something that gets left behind. While that gap can’t quite be fixed by using stickers and GIFs, it can be made a little less wide by doing so. Stickers and GIFs are visual ways to represent sentiments, and using them can function as a sort of punctuation to the messages you send to friends.

Click on the Sticker or GIF buttons at the bottom of a chat window to browse the hundreds upon hundreds of options Facebook offers you. Stickers and GIFs can represent emotions, activities, people, places … anything really. You can also choose from sticker packs or GIF libraries that have been created by companies other than Facebook.

Friend-a-versaries

One of the On This Day memories you may occasionally see is the memory of the day you first became friends with someone important in your life. Congratulations, you can celebrate your friend-a-versary on Facebook! The easiest way to celebrate is to share the post about your friendship’s ripe old age and include a little note about why that friend is important to you, or what you think about the fact that you guys have been friends for so many years.

It’s important to note that Facebook only marks the anniversary of the day you became friends on Facebook. If you were actually friends long before that, your friend-a-versary might seem a bit inaccurate. Still, it never hurts to tell a friend how happy you are to be friends with them.