Not Just A Useless Time Suck: The Most Valuable Uses For Facebook

Not Just a Useless Time Suck: The Most Valuable Uses for Facebook

Facebook is a known productivity killer. However, it has one advantage over other apps: everyone uses it. You can use it for more than just cat memes and baby pictures. Here are some of the most useful things you can do.

As a side note, many of the features we'll talk about are available on different versions of Facebook, but we'll be looking at them in the newest layout featured here. If we discuss something that isn't available to you, get on the waiting list, and the redesign should roll out to you before long.

Get More Personalised Search Results

Not Just a Useless Time Suck: The Most Valuable Uses for Facebook

Facebook's newest Graph Search feature is a little weird to get used to at first, but it has its upsides. Google is great when you want to get information from the internet at large, but Facebook can allow you to find out things based on what people you actually know like. While searching for the best movies on the web with Google will probably bring up The Shawshank Redemption, Graph Search will show me that my friends love Dr. Horrible (and reaffirm my faith in the people I know).

Schedule a Meeting or Special Event

Not Just a Useless Time Suck: The Most Valuable Uses for Facebook

Everyone's been invited to see their local band play every week or to celebrate Pi day. However, having access to everyone you know means that Facebook is the best tool for inviting anyone from your project team members to your typical movie night group to a shindig.

Curate Relevant News Feeds

Not Just a Useless Time Suck: The Most Valuable Uses for Facebook

We've talked before about how Facebook can actually have a great news feed if you make it so. Facebook has a nasty habit of distracting us with unimportant photos and junk. By using Interest Lists, you can create custom feeds that combine notable people, sites and Pages for a more specialised feed. You can use these just like Twitter Lists to organise your browsing.

Collect Every Photo of You (Regardless of Who Took It)

Not Just a Useless Time Suck: The Most Valuable Uses for Facebook

Chances are, you have plenty of photographs of yourself on Facebook that you didn't personally take. You can gather these up using a couple of apps and even automatically download them with IFTTT as they go up.

Hold a Video Chat Painlessly

We like Google Hangouts. However, there is still some friction when all you want is to have a one-on-one chat with someone. If the person you want to talk to doesn't have a Gmail account — as crazy as it sounds, there are fewer people with Gmail than with Facebook accounts — it requires an explanation. With Facebook, anyone that's on your chat list is eligible for an audio or video chat with almost no problem.

Share Files With a Closed Group

Not Just a Useless Time Suck: The Most Valuable Uses for Facebook

We all know Dropbox is a great tool for sharing files. Fewer know that, within Facebook's Groups feature, you can share files with other members. They're capped to 25MB per file, and there are certain files you can't upload (including .exe files), but uploading files to Facebook Groups give you a central place that anyone within the group can access without having to deal with shared folders, permissions or gathering up account information.

When you get past the usual Facebook tropes, it turns out there is a lot you can do with the site that is actually useful and helpful. Not only that, but it's possible to limit or even eliminate all the junk. As with many other sites, the value you get out of Facebook is what you make of it.


    cat memes and baby photos, spot on! however i do like cat memes but not 2 months after i saw it on reddit.

    I have to say the changes to the search freaking suck. So often I try and search something and something completely different comes up.

    Type something in, press enter and all of a sudden it's somewhere else not related.

    I was trying to find my friend Vera. It kept bringing up people who worked at Vera Wang. Like wtf? There was someone called Vera in my friends.

      For a company that holds so much personal data about people, you'd think they'd be at least somewhat competent at figuring out related and relevant information. They're almost worse at targetting things than companies that don't even bother to target. It's quite scary how bad they are, really.

    Why do I still not have the 'new' Facebook... I've been waiting for ages! -_-

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