What Is Facebook, Exactly? - dummies

By Carolyn Abram

Well, at its most basic, Facebook is a website. You’ll find it through a web browser like Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, the same way you might navigate to a search engine like Google or to an airline’s website to book tickets. (You can also access it using an app on your smartphone.) This figure shows what you will probably see when you navigate to Facebook.

Welcome to Facebook. Would you like fries with that?

If you’re already a Facebook user and choose to stay logged in on your computer, Facebook’s opening page will likely look more like the following figure, which shows an example of News Feed and your Home page.

Welcome back to Facebook, old friend.

Facebook is a website where you go to connect and share with friends. And just as there are a lot of different ways you interact with friends in the real world, there are a lot of ways to do so on Facebook. For example, you may go to Facebook to

  • Check out what your friends are up to today.
  • Tell your friends and family about your recent successes, show them your photos, or let them know you’re thinking of them.
  • Share a tidbit from your day or something you’ve been thinking about.
  • Show off the pictures from your latest vacation.
  • Make a contact in a city you’re moving to or at a company where you’re applying for a job.
  • Plan an event.
  • Get in touch with an old friend.
  • Garner support for a cause.
  • Get recommendations from friends for movies, books, music, and restaurants.
  • Remember everyone’s birthday.

So what Facebook is, exactly, is a website built to help you represent yourself online and share with your real-world friends online.