How to Interact with Facebook News Feed

By Carolyn Abram

Unlike the newspaper on your doorstep in the morning, Facebook’s News Feed is not just a method of delivering news. It’s actually more of a starting place, meant to facilitate more interactions between you and your friends. Each story has three options at the bottom of it: Like, Comment, and Share. Each of these options allows you to interact with your friend and their content.

You can also save content you see on Facebook to go back to at a later time.

Liking

Liking is one of the simplest actions on Facebook. Here’s how you like something:

Click Like.

It really is that easy. Anytime you see something that is just good, you can click Like to let the person who shared it know that you liked seeing it. Like buttons make appear as text or as a thumbs up icon (or both). When you like something, the person who shared it will be notified. Additionally, other people seeing that story may see that you have liked it. If you ever like something by accident, simply click Unlike to undo it.

Reacting

Liking is the simplest way to let someone know you saw and appreciated something they posted. Sometimes, however, Like just doesn’t seem appropriate. People often post stressful or sad things on Facebook; it would be insensitive to respond to “My dog had to be put down today” with Like. On the other side of things, sometimes Like isn’t a strong enough term. Do you like that baby smiling, or do you love it so much you want to eat its face?

Historically, you might see people commenting on these sorts of posts with one-word responses: Love. Dislike. LOL. Sad. Reactions is Facebook’s way of providing more than just one button to express your sentiment. To leave a Reaction other than a Like, simply hover the mouse cursor over the Like button or link and wait for the Reactions menu to open. You can then choose your Reaction from the following options:

  • Like: The old standby. Click on the thumbs up icon to let your friend know you liked their post.
  • Love: The heart icon lets your friend know you loved their post.
  • Haha: The laughing smiley face lets your friend know you thought what they posted was funny.
  • Wow: The smiley face gaping in awe lets your friend know that you were impressed if not flabbergasted by their post.
  • Sad: Express a little empathy by clicking the crying smiley face. It is the virtual equivalent of a gentle pat on the back.
  • Angry: The virtual equivalent of a little “grrrrr,” clicking the glowering smiley face lets your friend know that you are angry.

When you click any of these reactions, your friend receives a notification that you reacted to their post.

Commenting

Commenting is also pretty simple, and it takes you from a reaction to a conversation. The only requirement for a comment is that you to have something to say.

To comment on anything on Facebook, follow these steps:

  1. Click Comment.
    The comment box expands. Frequently, this box is already expanded, in which case you can simply go on to Step 2.
  2. Click in the text box that appears.
  3. Type what you want to say.
  4. (Optional) Click the camera icon to add a photo to your reply.
    This opens an interface for navigating your computer’s hard drive, so make sure you know where the photo is that you want to add.
  5. (Optional) Click the smiley face icon to add a sticker.
    This opens a menu for selecting from Facebook’s sticker collection. Stickers are a collection of cartoons that depict various emotions. (You can see a sticker in one of the comments in the figure.) Simply choose the sticker that best represents your sentiment.
  6. When you’re finished, press Enter.
Comment
A comment leads to a conversation.

After you comment on something, you’ll be notified about subsequent comments so that you can keep up on the conversation. If you decide, on second thought, that maybe you didn’t really want to say that thing, you can always delete your comment by hovering the mouse cursor over it and clicking the X that appears. You can do the same when someone comments on something you’ve posted and you don’t like what she says.

Sharing

You’ve probably noticed the word Share being used a lot on Facebook. In addition to the Share box (also called the Publisher) at the top of your News Feed and Timeline, Facebook has a specific Share feature, designed to make it easy to post and send content that you find both on Facebook and on the web.

If you’re looking at content on Facebook that you want to show someone, simply click the Share link near it. This opens a small menu with several options:

  • Share Now (<Privacy>): This is the quickest way to share something. Choosing this option simply posts the content to your own Timeline (and, by extension, your friends’ News Feeds).
  • Share: This option opens a full Share box that allows you to add your own commentary on the content you are sharing before you share it. Use the drop-down menu at the top to choose how you’d like to share the content.
Share
Share here.
  • On Your Own Timeline: This option posts the content to your Timeline the same way you post a link or a photo from your Share box.
  • On a Friend’s Timeline: This option is the same as copying and pasting a link into a post you leave on your friend’s Timeline (but it’s much easier than all that copy/paste nonsense).
  • In a Group: This option allows you to post the content to a specific group you’re a member of.
  • On a Page You Manage (for Page owners only): If you’re the admin of a Page — a Timeline for non-people — you can share things as a post from your Page.
  • In a Private Message: This accomplishes the same thing as copying and pasting a link into a message to a friend.

If you’re choosing to share on your own Timeline, you can click the privacy drop-down menu next to the Share button to change who can see the post.

  • Send as Message: This option opens a message box where you can type in names you would like to message with your friend’s post.

Saving

The Save feature on News Feed is a favorite hidden Facebook feature. Saving articles, videos, and other posts is an effective way to make a reading list for later, when you have more time. This is also a good way to bookmark helpful websites you might need later (like a list of the best pumpkin patches to visit in the fall).

To save a post, click the small down arrow in the upper right corner of the post you want to save. This opens the News Feed menu. Click the Save post option (usually in the middle of the menu). This automatically adds the post to your Saved section (which appears by default in the Favorites section of your left sidebar). You can get to your saved posts at any time by clicking Saved in your Favorites section. Facebook may also occasionally show you a selection of your saved items in your News Feed in case you forgot about them.

Save-link
Saving a link.