Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Facebook Explained: Home Screen

Is your newsfeed clogged up with status updates? Is your ticker driving you crazy? Hate timeline?

If you have no idea what any of those things mean, this tutorial is for you!  It will be a little bit long, so there is a "jump" (kind of a shortcut that gives a preview of the post here, and if you want to read the whole thing you can click just below where I say "Here it is!" below to see the rest).

When you log in to Facebook, your screen probably looks a little like this:

This may seem like a lot to take in, just as it is!

I'm going to break this screen down into components, and you will learn what each component does and how to navigate it and/or change it.

Ready for the "Jump"?  Here it is! (it will take you straight to the rest of the post!)

We're going to start with the main part of this screen. I will place big purple numbers on the graphics so you can identify the various parts.

  1. The Search Box
  2. The Actions Section
  3. The NewsFeed
1. The Search Box: 
     I find the Search box most useful to me when I want to view another person's profile, or see a group page, fan page, or business page (We'll go into the differences of those in another lesson).

Just click in the search box and start typing the name of the person or group you are looking for. Facebook will show a pulldown box as soon as you start typing, anticipating what you may be looking for. If the person you are looking for is already your "Friend" on Facebook, their name should pop up close to the top of the pulldown. You can move your cursor over their name and click, it will take you to their profile page.

Here I started typing "Sco" for "Scott", and it brings up anything it thinks I might be looking for. Friends with "Sco" in their name, etc. (we'll talk about "Checking In" later, too).

There are other great uses for the Search Box as well, but we can cover that later, too.

2. The Actions Section
     Here is where you can change your "Status", upload a picture or video to share, or ask your friends a poll question of some sort.

To update your status, click on "Update Status" and it will give you a text box to type into.

Keep in mind that many people will be able to see what you write, so be wise about what you say.

I always think about the fact that my Mom is on Facebook and reads all of my posts, so I don't ever say anything I think she might be horrified by. Granted, she's a pretty understanding lady, and I'm an adult, but it's a good barometer.

To upload a picture or video, click on "Add Photo/Video" and it will bring up a text box asking you what you would like to do. You can click "Use Webcam" to have your laptop or webcam take a picture of you, or if you want to create a whole new album for your photos, click on "Create Photo Album".  For now we will just worry about the simplest way to upload a picture or video.

Once you hit the "Post" button, it may take a little while for the picture to upload, depending on the speed of your computer and your internet connection.  You will know it is complete when it shows up in your news feed!

(I used one of the graphics above as an example to upload to Facebook):

Finally, to ask a Question, click on "Ask a Question".

Once you hit "Post", your question will show up in your NewsFeed.

3. The NewsFeed
     I know, I've talked about the NewsFeed a bunch already, but we'll just take a quick look at it anyway.

The NewsFeed is basically what tells you what's going on with all of your friends, group pages, and any business or "fan" pages you have "Liked".

At the top is "Sort: Most Recent" in tiny little letters. If you click on the pull-down arrow (the little downward arrow to the right) it will give you a box with two options; "Most Recent" and "Top Stories".

If your setting is "Most Recent", then you will see the most recent items (or "stories") first.  If you choose "Top Stories", the stories with the most attention (comments, likes, shares, etc.) will show at the top of the NewsFeed first.  I personally prefer "Most Recent", because I enjoy reading EVERYTHING in my NewsFeed.

In the future, we'll address how to control what you see and don't see in your NewsFeed in an even more specific way.

That about does it for today! We'll go a little more in depth next time, with profile and security settings! 

Thank you for reading, and please let me know in the comments if there is a particular thing you would like me to address in this tutorial series!

Happy 'Booking! :)

1 comment:

Marisa's Mom said...

Thank you! I like it, and will go back and re-read parts that I'm not using yet when I'm ready for them.