How to Update Your Facebook Status - dummies

How to Update Your Facebook Status

By Carolyn Abram

The most common type of post that you see people make from the Facebook Share box is a basic text update that answers the question, “What’s on your mind?” People refer to this type of post as a status update or just as their status. Status updates are quick, short, and completely open to interpretation.

People may update them with what they may be doing at that moment (“Eating a snack”), offer a random observation (“A cat in my backyard just caught a snake!”), or request info (“Planning a trip to India this summer. Anyone know where I should stay?”). It’s very easy for friends to comment on statuses, so a provocative update can really get the conversation going.

Status updates sound small and inconsequential, but when they’re added together, they can tell a really big story for one person or for many people. For close friends, these statuses let you keep up-to-date on their daily lives and share a casual laugh over something that you might never hear about otherwise.

As a collective, statuses are how news spreads quickly through Facebook. Because your posts go into your friends’ News Feeds, a single update can have a big impact and is somewhat likely to be repeated in some way or another. For example, news of a minor earthquake spread faster on Facebook than it did on news sites.

To update your status, follow these steps:

  1. Click in the What’s on Your Mind field of the Share box.

    This step expands the Share box.

  2. Type your comment/thought/status.

  3. (Optional) Click the person icon in the bottom gray bar of the Share box to add tags to your post.

    Tags are ways of marking people you’re with when you’re writing a status update. The tags link back to your friends’ Timelines and notify them of your update. When you tag someone, an additional bit of text is added to the status, so it looks like this:

    Off to play board games — with <Eric>.

    Eric then receives a notification that you tagged him.

    If you want to tag someone as part of a sentence as opposed to just noting that he’s with you, add an @ symbol and begin typing the person’s name. Facebook autocompletes as you type, and the tag appears as part of your status update: for example,

    <Eric> kicked butt at Settlers of Catan.

  4. (Optional) Click the location pin icon to add a location.

    You can click this pin and begin typing a city or place name, and Facebook tries to autocomplete the place where you are. Letting friends know where you are (also called checking in) is a great way to increase the chances of serendipitous encounters.

  5. (Optional) Click the smiley face icon to add info about what you’re doing, interacting with, or feeling.

    Much like tagging a person, or checking in to a location, you can add details to your status about what you’re reading, watching, listening to, feeling, doing, and so on. Facebook looks to autocomplete things as you type, so if you add that you’re at the movies, you can start typing in a movie’s title, and Facebook will automatically add it to the list of movies that you’ve watched.

  6. (Optional) Click the audience menu in the bottom-right corner to change who can see this particular post.

    Just like the information in your About section, you can choose from the basic privacy options: Public, Friends, Friends Except Acquaintances, Only Me, and Custom. Whatever you select will be saved for your next status post.

  7. Click Post.

If that made you feel like updating your status requires wayyyy too much work, you can follow the abridged version of the preceding if you prefer:

  1. Click in the Share box.

  2. Type your status.

  3. Click Post.