On the main Facebook page, there is an option to “Sign Up” to Facebook. Fill in your name, e-mail address and a password - you will also need to fill in your birthday and gender.
The next stage involves optional steps, which allow you to ask friends who have Facebook and are also in your e-mail address book to become your friends on Facebook. You can then add in secondary school, university, firm or location. By joining these networks, it allows you to look at other peoples profile pages on this same network. The next step is to assign a profile picture (this is optional) which you can either do by taking a photo on your web cam or by uploading a photo you already have on your computer.
You now have a Facebook account
Once you have done this, you will be connected to a welcome page asking if you want to edit any of your profile information. This is where you can change your profile picture, add friends, write information about yourself on your profile and also monitor what other people on Facebook ( some who will be your friends and some who wont be ) can see. By clicking on “Privacy Controls”, you will be connected to a page explaining regulations and recommended privacy settings.
Home page on Facebook
This page acts as a news feed and lets you know about activities of people you are friends with on Facebook. This is NOT your profile page and has nothing to do with anything you put on Facebook. The news feed works by publishing activities of the friends you are most interested in, as Facebook can monitor whose profile you see and what news you would like to know. So the news feed will show friends’ status updates, changes in profile pictures, photo updates and “wall to wall” conversations between friends – when you type something on a friend’s profile it is called writing on their wall. The news feed also shows forthcoming birthdays on the right hand side as well as event invitations.
A notification will appear as a number in a little red box in the top left hand corner above the globe sign. A notification tells you about activities by other people related to your profile – if someone writes on your wall, if someone comments on your status, if someone tags a photo of you or some of your photos etc.
Your profile on Facebook
“Profile” is your own personal page. This page shows information about you, that you choose to put on it and that you wish other people to see.. At the top of your profile there are four boxes with the options “Wall”, “Info”, “Photos” and “Boxes”.
“Wall’ is where people can post things, so your friends can write messages to you on this and post links. Your recent activities will also be show here, for example who you have recently become friends with, whose wall you have written on and any new photos you have added or events you have created. Your friends will all be able to see this wall and depending on your privacy settings so will everyone else in your network. Privacy settings will be discussed later, but it is best to have a closed profile so that only your friends can see it. You can also update your status on your profile. Underneath the four tab boxes is a text box saying “What’s on your mind?”, here you can type a note that will appear next to your name on your profile and on your friends news feeds. Once you have typed your status in the box, click on “Submit” and this will publish the text.
“Info” is where information about yourself is published and can be edited. You can choose to display your ‘work and education’, your ‘likes and interests’, ‘contact information’ as well as ‘about me’, which may include gender, birthday, relationship status and views. These are all optional and for privacy purposes, it is probable better to provide as little information as necessary.
“Photos” contains photos of you tagged both by other people and yourself, as well as any photo albums you have added by uploading from your desktop to the internet (facebook).
“Boxes” shows all the gifts you have received and the results of the quiz’s you have taken.
Searching for friends
Navigate back to the home page by clicking on either “home” on the top right, or “FACEBOOK” on the top left. The home page is where the news feed is published. At the top of the page on a blue bar there is a text book that says “search or ask”. This is where you can search for both existing and potential friends. If you are friends with them then you can visit their page and look at their photos, write on their walls and comment on things on their news feed. If you are not friends with someone you can add them by going on their profile and selecting the “Add as Friend” button.
How to send a Message
A message on Facebook is a way of sending someone something privately. These messages are not posted anywhere on the wall, they are more like e-mails. On the top left hand corner, next to the Facebook logo there are three icons, one of which looks like 2 speech bubbles – in the middle of the other two. Click on this icon and this will allow you to send a new message or read your old messages. If you are writing a new message then as you start to type in the person’s name, it should automatically come up if you are friends with them. Remember to press send once you have written your message.
How to create a photo album
On your profile, in the column underneath your profile picture, there is a section titled “Photos”. Click on this section and there will be an option to “Create a Photo Album”. You can choose the name of the album, the location, the description and then also the privacy. All of these are optional except for the Album name. The privacy setting should ideally be set to “Friends only” but if you want to upload photos that only certain people can see then choose the option to “Customise” and then select ‘specific people’ and type in the names of the people you want to see the photos. You can also choose to hide from certain people, typing their names in, in the same way. Remember to select “Save Settings”.
The next page, once you have confirmed the album name, will connect to your documents and through this you can find the photos you want to upload as you would on a normal files list. Once you have selected a file from the left hand menu, you must select the white square in the left corner of all the photos you want to upload so they are blue. Once you have selected the photos you must press upload and wait for the photos to be uploaded.
How to Tag Photos
You can tag photos of yourself and photos of other people. People can also tag photos of you. Photos tagged of you will appear on your profile page underneath your profile picture where it says “View Photos of Me”. Photos will only appear here if you have been tagged in the photo by yourself or by someone else – this means that your name will appear under the photo and on the photo as you drag the mouse over yourself. To tag photos in your own album, click on the album and at the top there will be an option to “edit photos”. Hold the cursor over the face of the person you want to tag and click. A small window will appear where you can type in the name of your friend and a list will appear below. Click on the friend that you wish to tag and then remember to click tag when you are done. Repeat this for each person that you want to tag. Once you have finished scroll down to the bottom and “save changes”.
You can also tag random photos put up on facebook by other people by clicking on the “tag photo” below the picture on the right. Again click the cursor over the person you want to tag and type in the name of your friend in the search box until the name appears. Click on the name and then click “tag” and then “done tagging” on the top right above the photo.
In the top right hand corner of the page in the blue bar there is a drop down menu titled “Account”. Click on this and then on the “privacy settings’, and you can then “customise your settings” which allows you to change certain aspects of your profile so that only friends can see it. It is advisable to only let your friends view your profile.
From this “Account’ drop down menu, you can also edit other parts of your profile, such as your account details – username, password, language etc.