Welcome to Facebook! Now that you know about the basics and how to change privacy settings to your liking, it’s time to learn about how to navigate the site.
Each time you log into Facebook, you’ll be directed to your personalized homepage.
Click the yellow circles () in the screenshot below to learn about your Homepage:
The bulk of your homepage consists of your News Feed. The News Feed shows you what your friends and the pages that you have "liked" have been posting. This can include all of the same kinds of information that you can post on Facebook, such as photo, videos, where they are, who they're with, what they're doing, or just something that they find interesting. Your own status updates appear here, too.
This is a list of key words or phrases that are being tagged most frequently by users on Facebook at any given time. In other words, lots of people on Facebook are currently reading and posting information related to these words or phrases.
Clicking one takes you to a new News Feed that contains only posts that have been tagged with that word or phrase, similar to how selecting a friends list shows you only posts that have been made by those friends. This way, for example, you can catch up on the latest celebrity gossip, or check out the different perspectives on a developing news story.
This is where you will be notified if there is any activity on Facebook involving you. There are three different types of notifications.
Friend Requests: You will receive a notification here when someone requests to add you as a friend. You can also use this button to send friend requests of your own (based on people to whom Facebook has matched your information), as well as change who is able to send you friend requests.
Messages: You will receive a notification here if someone sends you a private message. You can also use this button as a shortcut to send a private message back to them, or to send a private message to somebody else.
Our Facebook Messages tutorial has more information on how to use this feature.
(General) Notifications: You will receive a notification here if someone interacts with you in any other way on Facebook. Mostly, this will be if someone 'likes' or comments on a status update or comment that you wrote, or if someone invites you to 'like' a page, play a game, or join an event or group. Some other things will cause you to receive notifications, such as if someone writes a status update in a group that you belong to, someone tags you in a post, or if one of your friends is celebrating a birthday.
Click this to go to your Timeline.
Here is where you can post a status update, video, or photo to Facebook. You can also add information such as how you are feeling, where you are, what you are doing, and who you are with. Once you click Post, it’ll show up at the top of your News Feed, as well as on the News Feeds of friends.
Navigate to other parts of Facebook here. Go to the events page, check out some apps or keep connected with groups you’re a part of.
Use this bar to search for friends, groups, or other Facebook pages that may be of interest to you (such as bands or actors). Similar to how Google Search and several other common Internet search engines work, when you click on this bar and begin typing, Facebook will automatically make suggestions about what you're looking for, based on what you type.
See which of your friends are logged into Facebook so that you can instantly have a private conversation with them. Friends who are logged in will and available to chat will have a green light beside their name, along with "Web" or "Mobile" to denote whether they are logged in on a computer or on a smartphone. Friends who are currently logged out of Facebook but can receive messages on their smartphone will have a grey phone icon next to their name, along with how long they've been logged out.
For instructions on how to use this function, head over to our Facebook Chat tutorial.
While your News Feed shows your Top Stories, your ticker shows the most recent activity by your friends, in strict chronological order. Hover your mouse cursor over an activity to get a preview of what it is.
Your News Feed contains status updates posted by you, your friends, or pages that you 'like'. However, you may also see status updates from people who aren't your friends or pages that you haven't 'liked'. This usually happens because people who are your friends 'like' or comment on these status updates. If you don’t want to see posts on your News Feed from a particular friend or page, you can unfollow them by clicking on their name and going to their Timeline, and then clicking on the Following button.
The more you keep connected with someone via Facebook, the higher up on the News Feed their posts will be. Likewise, the more popular something is on Facebook in general, the higher up on your News Feed it will be. A status update with many comments and "likes", for example, will rate higher than a status update with few comments or "likes".
Your Facebook profile page shows your basic information, from your employer to your birthdate. It also includes the Timeline. The Timeline allows you to see your history on Facebook. It contains all of your Facebook status updates in reverse chronological order.
Your Facebook Timeline also includes all Facebook activity that your friends have tagged you in. By going into the "Timeline" and "Tagging" sections of your privacy settings, you are able to monitor and approve what goes on your Timeline.
For more information on what tagging is and how to manage it, our Facebook Tagging tutorial can fill you in.
Click the yellow circles () in the screenshot below to learn about your Timeline:
As with the News Feed, the Timeline includes a Publisher. Anything you post here goes onto your Timeline below and into your News Feed, and can be viewed by others in accordance with your privacy settings. If you are on a friend’s profile, this Publisher allows you to post directly onto their Timeline.
This menu allows others to navigate through your profile. They can check your photos, your "About" section, see what groups you’re involved in, and even the things that you 'like' (by clicking More). Everything in the menu section is shown briefly down the left-hand side of the Timeline.
This is where people can see your basic information. If you click here, you are able to edit the information.
You can also choose who can see this information by using Facebook’s privacy settings (see our How to Change Facebook Privacy Settings tutorial for more information).
This is where you can see all the photos that you’ve uploaded or that friends have tagged you in.
See our Facebook Photos tutorial for more information on how to manage this section.
The cover photo is like a background image for your profile. It is only visible when someone is on your Timeline, unlike your profile picture that is visible throughout Facebook (like when you comment on a status update, for example).
We'll go over how to add or change your cover photo in our Facebook Photos tutorial.
The profile picture is seen all throughout Facebook. By clicking someone’s profile picture, you can see the larger image and scroll through their "Profile Pictures" album. If you’re on your own profile, by moving your mouse cursor over the picture, you can change and update your picture.
And those are some of the options on the common pages of Facebook!
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