Fine tune your Facebook experience pt1

Facebook is a diverse social media platform. From this diversity just about every interest is catered for. Members get a timeline window that used to be referred to as their wall (pin-up wall), now just labelled with the member name, a news feeds window—now referred to as “Home”, and a “Find Friends” window.

In addition, it provides a messaging function that allows members to communicate with one-on-one privacy. At the top of all internal Facebook windows is the primary menu bar that contains a search field, member name, “Home”, “Find Friends” and other options.

Facebook main menu bar

Facebook main menu bar

These other options, circled in yellow above, include icons that indicate when there are unread friend requests, messages and post notifications from members followed and configuration set up options (right of circle).

When these icons have a number over top of them (perhaps in a red box), they are indicating the number of unread posts. They can be clicked to see the links to these posts, which subsequently, can also be clicked on to open in a full window view.

Facebook

Facebook “Home” page.

If you have hobbies and interests you might like to search for groups in Facebook with the same interests by entering your interest in the search box of the primary or main menu bar at the top of the window. Click on groups that are found to learn more about them and how to join them.

Set audience scope

Limiting a general post audience

When a user responds to the “What’s on your mind?” prompt on the home page, they are creating a text post. It will not be posted into the general news feed stream until the “Post” button is clicked. Next to the “Post” button is a target audience option. The options available include Public, Friends and other options. These options limit a general news feed post to these groups.

Members can create their own group categories such as Inner Family, Extended family, Interest groups, professional associates etc, and assign their Facebook Friends to these groups. Doing this allows a single post to be delivered to the news feeds of everyone in the selected target group—nobody else. So Facebook provided a second level of privacy after the one-on-one messaging level.

If the target audience is set to Public, a post will be posted into all that members friends “news feed streams”, subject to the configuration settings of each other member. Members can opt to not receive general news feeds from selected other members, in which case they will not receive these feeds no matter what target audience the poster sets on their posts.

This allows a member to keep a friend or family member in their Facebook list, but not to be bombarded with their non-targeted trivia. It means when members do have something meaningful to communicate to each other, they can do so by posting to each others timeline, rather than just post into a general news feed stream on the Home page.

The “What’s on your mind?” prompt is where posts are sent to general news feed streams that can be seen by all members that follow the posting member.

Open a friends timeline

Find a friends page from your own timeline page—not your home page

To post to a specific friends timeline, the specific friends profile must be brought up. Friends profiles are located in a members timeline window submenu. By clicking on a friend profile picture, or name, their timeline window opens. At the top the “What’s on your mind?” prompt is now a different prompt. This is where members write posts to specific other members timelines. It should be noted that these posts are not private one-on-one posts, like sending messages are, they can be seen by all the receiving members friends and possibly their friends as well. In fact, unless members limit their audiences, such a post can be proactively viewed by a huge audience of many levels of nested friends.

For private communication, from a friends profile click “Message” from the options that appear near the top of the friends

Submenus available on selected friends page

Submenus available on selected friends page

timeline window. Currently (2016) this is near the profile picture in the friends window. In the standard Facebook configuration a messaging panel will open. At the very bottom of it is a small field to enter a message. The message is posted privately to that friends message area as soon as the enter or return key is pressed. Within this panel a transcript of the communication is displayed. Should the friend happen to be online and on Facebook at the time, they may respond immediately for a real-time textual conversation, otherwise the response will be at the friends discretion over some time period.

One other option available from a friends timeline page window is the “Following” option. Members do not always wish to have their news feeds clogged with the trivia from others. At the same time they do not wish to remove offenders from their friends list, because between the unsolicited trivia they do wish to have meaningful conversations from time to time.

Parents are probably no more interested in the trivial conversations between their children and their children’s friends as the children are between their parents conversations with their friends, but there are times when they wish to post to each other, especially if they no longer live together. Removing each other from the Friends list will result in no possible communication at all. It is better to leave each other as friends, but unfollow each other by selecting unfollow from the “Following” menu option.

Facebook unfollow option

Kill the news feeds from selected friends.

Facebook is multimedia capable. As well as text, pictures, photographic images, gif animations and audio/video files can be posted. Tagging media, such as a photograph, alerts a member so they may see the image they are tagged in. Friends of that member may also be able to see that image if no privacy settings prevent that. Friends may also get the message that one of their friends was tagged in a photograph, again depending on the senders privacy settings (https://www.facebook.com/help/273239846034787?sr=3&query=Can+I+limit+who+can+see+photos+I+post&sid=0Z8mAu7vhG8IP1xNA).

Privacy settings are also available on albums and photos (https://www.facebook.com/help/community/question/?id=803249473052686).

A separate article, following this one a little later, will provide a Facebook guide to creating new groups to assign Facebook friends too for the purpose of providing a wider more refined range of audience options (next to the general news feed Post button). More will also be revealed about posting other media types.

CC BY, Gavin Lardner 2016

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