Sunday, 21 October 2012

5 Hidden Features of Facebook

It’s a little like Facebook’s version of the Easter egg extra you can find in a DVD of one of your favorite movies. Only instead of getting inside director’s jokes that you might not have known otherwise, these features are here to make the experience of having a profile on Facebook one you can customize deeper while still protecting the privacy of. And that’s saying a lot considering that not every Facebook user has yet to convert their home page to the timeline and tailor it to fit their professional and personal needs.
Maybe you already know about these options and maybe you don’t. But employing a “blink and you miss it” tactic can have you missing out on some great opportunities for your account.

1) Facebook Email
Under your contact info tab on your Facebook About page, you’ll find alongside any other email addresses you have featured one that features your public username followed by Before you worry that there’s a special inbox to your Facebook email filled with messages that you haven’t been receiving, keep in mind that this address is for your Facebook messages inbox (that tiny conversation bubble sandwiched between the friend requests and notifications symbols at the top left hand corner of your page. Any messages you get to the address will be added there with a little red number that will pop up as a reminder of how many you have.
You can also send messages to the address without using Facebook. Traditional email systems like Gmail can receive and send these messages. Responses sent out via are formatted to look like they came directly from the social media site with your profile picture, name, and message all included.

2) Custom Username
We spoke about this one a lot in the first of the five hidden features. A Facebook username can be created by logging into your account settings tab and clicking on the bar marked “username” which customizes the web address for your profile, making it look a little something like (to borrow the name of the company I own)
The trouble with the username is that you can only change it once. Until recently was the opportunity made available to switch it over a second time and it’s doubtful that third time will be the charm here. When creating a username for your account, it’s suggested to use a variation based off of your own name which makes it easier for friends to find you and to list your account on a professional networking website or on a resume. You can also use periods when creating said username.

3) Life Events
Yet another reason to make the switch over to the timeline if you haven’t already! On the Facebook timeline you have the option to write a status, post a photo, check in to a place, or create a life event. Life events are open to everything from the school you attended to the places you’ve travelled to and even with the relationships you have with other Facebook users. While you might not feel inclined to feature all of your life events that Facebook offers the ability to feature (first tattoo? new license?) you still have the option there to write about and share with close family members and friends.

4) App Settings
This one might not be a hidden gem on Facebook but it makes for an interesting timeline of its own to see just how many apps you’ve authorized to interact with your account. Under the account settings tab is where you can find and clean out the app settings if they no longer apply to being used with your profile. Kind of like viewing a blast from your Facebook past if you were really into the apps. Pieces of Flair or Bumper Sticker, anyone?

5) The Facebook Archives
Under the account settings tab, click on general settings. Underneath “language” you should be able to find a button marked “download a copy of your Facebook data.” Here’s where you can get a copy of your Facebook history downloaded featuring the posts you’ve made on your wall, the photos you’ve shared, the names and email addresses of your friends, and more.
There’s even an expanded archive download available that includes as Facebook puts it, “historic info like IP addresses we store about your logins to Facebook.”
Definitely far from a blink and you miss it moment.

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