In brief, Facebook is an effective social networking site. Through Facebook you can find friends, add them to your network and keep in touch, you can network for business purposes, play games, share photos etc. Let’s elaborate and find out what Facebook can do for you and how you can use it effectively.
1. Open a Facebook account: This is the first step to using Facebook. On the homepage, enter your full name, email ID and password. Ensure your password has both numbers and letters. Once you signup, you will receive a verification mail in the inbox of your email ID used to sign up on Facebook. Click on the verification link to get connected to Facebook.
2. Your profile information: Click on ‘edit profile’ tab to add / update data about yourself. You can reveal / show only your birth date and month info and not the year, a click on a check box will help you with this. Enter the basic details like your country, hometown, languages you know, education, work place, etc and ensure you click on ‘save’ after you add data in each section.
3. Upload pictures: One of the first pictures you may want to upload is your profile picture. Click on ‘Upload profile picture’ and browse to select your picture from your desktop / folder and click ‘OK’ to see the picture being displayed. You can add more photos by selecting the ‘photo’ icon on the applications toolbar, click on ‘create a photo album’ and add an album name and set privacy settings before you browse and add more photos to the album. You can choose groups of friends whom you want to share or hide the photos from in the privacy settings.
4. Search for friends to add: To search for a college-mate or co-worker, click on ‘friend finder’ tab and enter the name of your friend to search them. Alternatively, you can click on ‘Find friends’ tab on the right hand pane, using this page, you can find friends from your company, college or school that will be listed. Photos and names of people you may know will appear below and you can directly go to their Facebook page and add them as your friend by sending them the request. Once they accept and confirm the two of you will be connected as friends on Facebook.
5. Messages (private and public): At the top right hand corner is a tab that says ‘send message’, click on that and type a subject and your message to your friend which only he / she can view and respond. This is similar to e-mail message which is personal. However, to send a message that everyone can see, you can ‘post’ a message on the ‘wall’ of your friend.
6. Chat on Facebook: At the right hand bottom corner is a window called ‘chat’. Click on that to expand the window and the friends who are online at that point and available for chat display a green icon next to their names. You can click on your friend’s name and a chat window opens just like any other chat feature.
7. Upload links and videos: On your Facebook homepage, you can click on the ‘links’ and ‘videos’ toolbar to share your favourite or liked links and videos with others. Alternatively, if you are watching a video that you like on YouTube or any other website and would like to share it with your Facebook friends look for a Facebook icon in the toolbar below the video and click on that to share the video.
8. Notes: Look for the ‘Notes’ tab at the left hand pane on your home page, click on that to find notes written by your friends. It could be useful information, random notes or tips shared. To post your own notes, click the ‘My notes’ tab and then click on ‘+Write a Note’ to write your own note. The privacy settings here will help you choose whom you would like to share the notes with; the ‘Save draft’ option will allow you save your note as a draft until you decide to ‘publish’ it by clicking on the ‘Publish’ tab.
9. Create a group: On the left hand pane of your home page, you will find a tab called ‘Create groups’. Click the tab, add a group name and members whom you would like to add to the group. Below you will also find a privacy tab and you can choose from ‘open’, ‘closed’ or ‘secret’. By choosing ‘open’, you confirm that the group can be visible to others along with the posts from the group. Also anybody can choose to join the group. ‘Closed’ option will restrict the conversations only to the members of the group. Here the members can be seen by others. By choosing ‘secret’ tab, the members and the content exchanged are secretive.
10. Profile privacy: Click ‘account’ and select ‘privacy settings’ to set your privacy settings. Click on ‘Customize settings ‘ to adjust your privacy options such that your posts, pictures, etc can be viewed only by ‘Everyone’, ‘Friends of Friends’, ‘Friends only’ and ‘Customize’. The Customize option allows you to hide the posts or picture albums from any group or people of your choice. Do not forget to ‘save settings’ once you have set your settings.