17 Secrets Your Facebook Profile Wants You to Know
Features you never knew about, shortcuts to see more of your favorite posts, and more.
Unfriending isn’t your only option
Everyone has those few Facebook friends who posts are always annoying or argumentative or both. (I know—I can see them.) But if those friends are your real-life friends or relatives, unfriending them could cause some tumult in the real world. Here’s the solution: Click the “Following” button at the top of the page and select “Unfollow.” You’ll stop seeing their posts, you’ll still be “friends” with them, and their feelings don’t get hurt. Win-win!
But I can tell you who’s not friending you
Go to the “Friends” section of your profile and click “Friend Requests.” You’ll be able to see who sent requests to you, but when you “view sent requests,” you’ll see who ignored your own. Sure, it may hurt a bit to know that these people denied your friendship, but trust me. You’re better off without them.
I can erase search history
Every Facebook user makes some searches they’re not proud of, whether it’s an ex’s profile or something not safe for work. But never fear: I can erase all traces them. Click the downward-pointing arrow in the top right-hand corner of your screen and go to “Activity Log.” From there, click “More” under “Comments” and look for “Search history.” If there’s one particular search you’re less than proud of, search through the chronological entries and click the crossed circle next to one to delete it. Otherwise, you can wipe your slate clean by clicking “Clear searches” at the top of the page. Look out for these signs that you’re sharing too much on Facebook.
I can turn off those endless birthday notifications
I get it. You love it when I remind you that your cousin’s birthday is today and you haven’t sent her a balloon emoji-filled text, but you hate when I do the same for the people you occasionally talked to in high school. I’m not offended (not that offended anyway…). While there’s no way to choose whose birthdays you can get notified for, you can turn off all birthday notifications by going into “Settings” (under the upper right-hand arrow), “Notifications,” and then “On Facebook.” That lists everything you get notified for, including groups you’re in, pages you run, and yes, birthdays.
I can help connect you with your squad
Whether you have 100 Facebook friends or 1,000, you definitely don’t care about every single thing every one of them posts. So let me help you prioritize your close friends, the ones you actually would hang out with if I didn’t exist. In the “Friends” section of your profile, you’ll see that everyone has a box next to their names that says “Friends.” Click on that and select “Close friends” for the people you truly consider, well, close friends. You’ll be notified whenever those select, lucky few post on Facebook. They’ll also be put on a “Close Friends” list, so you can share things exclusively with them.
I can give you more of the content you love
My creator, Mark Zuckerberg (maybe you’ve heard of him?), and the other big-shots running the company recently introduced an algorithm that allows me to prioritize posts from your friends and family. Awesome! What’s less awesome is that you’re also missing out on posts from your favorite media outlets, like Reader’s Digest. To change that, go to that outlet’s Facebook page, click the “Following” button, and then click “See first.” Now, new posts from that page will appear at the top of your feed. This is what your social media profile really says about you.
I help you plan for the worst
This is hard for me to talk about, because I love being your personal Facebook profile. Nothing gives me more joy. But one day, you will die. That’s just how life works. Now, I may not be the biggest concern in your end-of-life matters, but that doesn’t mean I just disappear when you die. That’s why you can set up a Legacy Contact, someone who can manage your account when you pass away. They won’t be able to post as you (otherwise, people would assume they’re talking to your ghost!), but they can pin a post detailing things like a memorial service, respond to friend requests, and change your profile picture. To choose your Legacy Contact, go to “General Account Settings,” then “Manage Your Account.” You can also request that your account is deleted after you pass. OK, enough sadness. Let’s move on before I need another box of tissues…
I know who your representatives are
That’s right. I know more about your local government than you. But don’t worry, I’m more than happy to share that info. Go to facebook.com/townhall and I’ll show you exactly who your local, state, and federal representatives are, based on your address. I even give you their contact information and links to their own pages. You can also opt for reminders about upcoming elections to remind you to get out the vote.
I speak many languages
I kinda have to, since there are about 2 billion Facebook users worldwide. But, there are some are especially fun, like Pirate and Upside Down. Go to “Language” in your “Settings” and edit the question, “What language do you want to use Facebook in?” Use the drop-down to explore the dozens of languages you can choose from. Pro tip: You’ll find Pirate and Upside Down as versions of English.
I know you don’t like auto-play videos
Luckily, turning off auto-play only takes a matter of seconds. On your desktop, go to “Settings,” then “Videos,” and change the “Auto-Play Videos” settings from “Default” to “Off.” You can also change this on your mobile app. Tap the three stacked lines in the bottom right corner of the app. iPhone users, scroll down to “Settings,” then “Account Settings,” then “Videos and Photos,” and look for the auto-play option. Android users, tap “App Settings,” then “Autoplay.”
Don’t have time to read that article? I can help
If you never knew this feature existed, it may forever change the way you use Facebook. Just saying. In the top right corner of every post, you’ll see three dots. Click those dots and choose the first option to save the link/video/post. I’ll copy that link and put it in a folder called Saved on the left-hand side of your screen under the Explore category. (This folder only appears after you first save a post.) Now you can read those posts when you have more time and click “Unsave” when you want them gone.
I can be romantic
Here’s another reason you and your significant other need to be Facebook Official. If you go to facebook.com/us, I’ll show you the complete Facebook history between you and your boo, including photos, status updates with each other, and other fun memories that capture your love. At least, everything about it that you put online. If you’re not in a relationship, facebook.com/us takes you to the relationship status on your profile, where I not-so-delicately remind you that you are, in fact, single. Sorry for the rude awakening. Whether you’re single or taken, don’t make these social media mistakes that can ruin your relationships.
I can show you the world
No, seriously. On facebook.com/livemap, you can see Facebook live streams happening in real time all over the world. They show up as blue dots on a map you can zoom in and around on (the bigger the dot, the more people are watching). Hold your mouse over a dot for a preview. It could be a makeup tutorial, a local news channel covering a developing story, or someone who just likes talking to random strangers.
I can tell if someone tried to hack your account
It’s more important than ever to protect your personal information online. I can help you figure out if and when anyone has accessed your account without your knowledge. Go to “Settings,” then “Security and Login.” Under “Where You’re Logged In,” you’ll see a list of the devices where your account is being used and where they’re located. If you see any red flags, like “Device type unknown” or a city you haven’t visited recently (or ever!), click on the three dots in that section and click “Not you?” You’ll be prompted to reset your password, so whoever logged into your account won’t be able to again. Just make sure you avoid these Facebook scams that you STILL keep falling for.
I can jumpstart your writing career
OK, I can’t teach you to become a best-selling author, but I can give you a place to start. Remember Facebook Notes from back in the day, when people used them to post class schedules or instructions for 30-day photo challenges? I still have them! Now, they’re more like blog posts where you can write paragraphs of text and add pictures. You’ll also be able to see published notes written by friends and people you follow. Go to facebook.com/notes and get writing!
I have a second inbox for messages
“Are you serious?” “People have been trying to contact me this whole time?” “Why have you been hiding this from me, Facebook?!” My responses: Yes, yes, and let me explain. When you click on the Messenger icon in the top blue bar, you automatically see a record of recent messages. But if you look closely, there’s an option for “Message Requests.” These are messages people you’re not already connected with but I think you might know. If you do know the sender, open the chat and click “Accept” to continue the convo. Otherwise, click “Decline” and forget the whole thing ever happened. If you click “See Filtered Requests,” you can see the messages you’ve received that I’ve marked as spam. Why didn’t I call it the “Spam Inbox,” you ask? Because that would just be too darn simple. Now, as much as I love spending time with you, you can have too much of a good thing. Look out for these signs that you’re actually addicted to Facebook.