How to Use Facebook Texts - dummies

By Carolyn Abram, Amy Karasavas

Most Facebook users have a smartphone, or at least one with some capacity to use a browser. However, if you don’t have a phone like that, you can still use Facebook via text message. To get started with Facebook Texts, you first need to enter and confirm your phone number in the Settings page from your web browser:

  1. Choose Settings from the Account menu (down arrow) in the upper-right corner of the big blue bar on top.
  2. Click the Mobile tab on the left side of the page.
  3. Click the green Add a Phone button.

    You may be prompted to reenter your Facebook password. When that’s all squared away, the Confirm Your Number dialog box appears.

  4. Choose your country and your mobile carrier.

    If your carrier isn’t listed, you may be out of luck using Facebook Texts from your mobile phone.

  5. Click Next.

    This brings you to Step 6, which you must do from your phone.

  6. From your phone, text the letter F to 32665 (FBOOK).

    FBOOK texts you back a confirmation code to enter from your computer. This can take a few minutes, so be patient.

  7. Enter your confirmation code into the empty text box.
  8. If you see the Share my Phone Number with my Friends check box, choose whether you want your phone number added to your Timeline.

    If you’re not comfortable with that, simply deselect the check box. If you don’t see this check box, skip to Step 10.

  9. If you see the Allow Friends to Text Me from Facebook check box, select whether you want friends to be able to text you from Facebook.
    If you don’t want people to be able to text you through Facebook, simply deselect the check box. If you don’t see this check box, skip to Step 10.
  10. Click Next.
    This confirms your phone.

After your phone is confirmed, Facebook Texts are the most basic way to use Facebook on your phone. You don’t need a camera on your phone or a smartphone to use Facebook Texts. Using just a simple Short Message Service (SMS) or text message, you can update your status to let people know where you are and what you’re up to. You can also choose to receive text message notifications for things like Friend Requests as well as comments people have made on your posts.

Here are the various actions you can take on Facebook via SMS; all messages get sent to 32665 (FBOOK):

  • Update your status: Type any sort of phrase into a text message. Your status will appear on your Timeline and in your friends’ News Feeds.
  • Get a one-time password for accessing Facebook: Text the letters OTP. One time passwords allow you to access Facebook from a new computer without accidentally letting your password be saved and giving someone else access to your account. Just remember to log out when you’re done!
  • Stop getting texts. Text the word stop.
  • Restart getting texts. Text the word start.

Mobile settings

Once you’ve started using Facebook Texts, there are a number of settings you can adjust to better suit your texting lifestyle. You can get to these settings on the regular Facebook website by clicking the Account menu (the down arrow on the right side of the big blue bar on top), selecting Settings from the menu that opens, and then selecting Mobile on the left side of the page that opens.

  • Text Messaging: Decide which phone number you want your texts to be sent to. You need to change this setting only if you have more than one mobile phone number listed for your account.
  • Mobile PIN: Creating a mobile PIN is a security precaution you can take to keep someone from accessing any part of your Facebook account by spoofing your phone number or borrowing your phone. If you choose to create a PIN, you will need to start all texts to Facebook with that PIN.
  • Daily Text Limit: The Daily Text Limit allows you to modify the number of text messages you receive per day.

    If you have a mobile plan for which you’re charged per text message (and you’re exceedingly popular), use the settings that limit the number of messages Facebook sends you per day. Otherwise, you may have to shell out some big bucks in text message fees.

    Remember to click Save Changes after updating this setting.

  • Time of Day: You can choose to only get texts from Facebook at certain times of the day, so that your phone doesn’t bother you when you’re sleeping (or while you’re at work, perhaps).

Mobile notifications

To get started, head to the Notifications tab of the Settings page and click Edit next to the Text Message section.

From this section, you can change the following settings:

  • Turn text notifications on or off. Fairly self-explanatory, although it’s worth noting that even if you turn off these notifications, you can continue to use the SMS commands.
  • Decide which actions are text-worthy. Choose up to three categories to be notified about via text: be notified when someone comments on your posts or status updates, when you receive a Friend Request or have a Friend Request you sent confirmed, and whether to receive texts about everything else, which encompasses actions like being tagged in a photo or receiving an Inbox message.
  • Receive text notifications from friends only. This check box controls whether you want to receive a text only when you receive an Inbox message from a friend. This means that if, for example, a non-friend sends a message to your Inbox, you will not be notified by text.