I spend a great deal of time studying social media, and when I say “studying” I mean endlessly double-tapping on Instagram. In all seriousness I spend a lot of time on social media trying to understand how things work. What are the settings? How do permissions work? What makes people share things? What things make you look savvy or stupid on a particular network? These are rabbit holes to fall down for sure; there are endless things to discover and as soon as you discover something it’s likely to change.
When it comes to Facebook I want to share with you four things I think you should know, and that you should review when it comes to your own profile.
1. See How Your Profile Appears Publicly
For me, and I think for others, Facebook is a somewhat more personal space than LinkedIn or Twitter. I like to ensure that the photos and updates I share are visible to the friends, family and even acquaintances that I have approved. What I know from looking at a lot of FB profiles is that many people either intentionally or inadvertently have a lot of their photos, updates and details shared publicly. If you are wondering what you might be sharing with the world via Facebook, use this quick checkup to take a look. I actually check this one annually just to be sure what might be visible.
First go to your profile. Where you see the ellipsis “…” click and you should see a dropdown that says “View As…”.
Next check out what you timeline looks like to the public
As you can see Facebook will also let you see how your timeline looks to specific people. So if you are concerned what either Grandma or your ex-boyfriend might see on your timeline, this is one way to verify it.
I just did it today and found old things showing up that I didn’t see a year ago. I have to chalk this up to FB’s ever changing settings.
2. Customize Privacy On a Post
Next to any of your posts you will see an icon that shows whether you are sharing that post publicly, with friends, with friends excluding acquaintances, with yourself (essentially a private post), or with “custom” settings. The custom settings presents you with unique ways to share. The way I most commonly use this feature is to share with a custom list. I created a list called “Lethbridge” (the city I live in) so that when I post a local news story or share a fundraiser for a local charity I don’t have to spam my friends from California to South Africa.
This setting also comes in handy when you also want to keep specific people from seeing a post. For instance if you didn’t want your dad to know about a surprise birthday party but you wanted to tell everyone else on FB about it, you could exclude him from seeing the post. I also recommend this setting to exclude your co-workers if you are silly enough to post pictures of your epic ski day, when you called in sick to work.
3. Designate Trusted Contacts and Legacy Contacts
These lesser known settings help you establish further security over you account. First choose friends who can help you regain access to your account should you ever have a problem. Second choose a legacy contact who has permission to manage your Facebook page after you die. This one would be easy enough to skip because who wants to plan for FB after death, but it’s an inevitability for anyone with an account. You can also opt to have your FB page removed permanently after your death.
First choose “privacy settings” (the lock icon on the top navigation). Go to your security Settings to see your options for these two. I actually designated 3 people as my trusted contact. For your Legacy contact you will only be able to designate one person.
First go to settings.
Next choose “security”.
In you security settings you will see the option to choose your “legacy contact”.
4. Save Posts to Read Later
I absolutely love this feature. This is a great way to save articles, videos, recipes and anything else to review later. I think its great because you don’t always have the time or might not be in the mood for the content your friends, or the pages you follow are posting but you may genuinely be interested in it. Reviewing some of your saved posts is a akin to leisurely reading the Sunday paper because you have the time to sit back and take it in.
To use the feature, click the drop down at the top right of any post shared in your newsfeed and choose “save Link”.
When you want to go back to your saved items, access them on the top left nvtigation on your newsfeed page.
Here I can see all the things I have saved.
After reading the article “WestJet Got It So Right For This New Dad” I click the “x” on the right of the saved posts and it is then sent to my archive folder. Best feature!
What are your Facebook, tricks, tips or favourite features?