Most Facebook members interact with the site multiple times per day. However, even the heaviest of users aren’t always aware of the cool advanced features hidden beneath the hood. From finding ancient posts and saving content for later viewing to enhancing your photos and selling unwanted junk; here are nine handy tools that you can easily access right now.
Faces picture from Shutterstock
#1 How to find specific posts
Facebook’s search engine was recently overhauled to make it easier to find old posts that friends shared with you. For example, let’s say you want to revisit a post that one of your friends tagged you in about a movie you both saw — simply type their name and the movie title into the search bar and Facebook will show a list of posts that match your criteria.
You can also discover what your Facebook friends have been saying about a certain topic by using the same method — just type in the desired phrase and you’ll receive a list of relevant posts from friends and groups that you follow. Naturally, you can do the same thing with your own posts if you don’t feel like scrolling down your timeline.
#2 How to “soft publish” photos
Sometimes, you want to put some new photos on Facebook without making a huge fuss about it. For example, you might want to add a few extra pics to a holiday album that you’ve already published. In short, you don’t want to keep spamming your friend’s news feed with photos.
You can limit the amount of people who see it in their news feed by changing the permissions to “Only Me” at the time of publication. You can then change it back to Friends or Public at a later date. The longer you wait, the less likely it is to show up in anyone’s feed.
This is also handy if you decide to alter an old post or photo in some way — by briefly changing the permissions the post won’t resurface to the top of everyone’s feed so they can scrutinise why you’re editing the past.
#3 How to include name pronunciations
If you have a hard-to-pronounce name, you can lend your friends a helping hand in your Profile. To do this, head to your Profile, select the About tab and click on “Details About You” on the left-hand side. You should see the option: “How do you say your name?” You can either select from Facebook’s automated suggestions or type in your own phonetic breakdown. [Note: This tool currently requires a US-based VPN. Alternatively, you can include your name’s pronunciation under “About Me”.]
#4 How to enhance your photos
You may have noticed that Facebook now offers inbuilt editing tools to enhance your photos. These allow you to swipe between filters, overlay multiple lines of text in any color, add emojis and choose from a variety of stickers.
To access the edit page, simply upload a photo and select the Edit Photo/paintbrush icon prior to publishing. From there, you can preview filters, crop and rotate or add text/stickers. As you’d expect the options are pretty basic but the filters on offer are definitely worth exploring.
#5 How to avoid multiple passwords
Facebook Login allows you to sign into non-Facebook apps on your phone without re-typing your email address or creating a new password. Instead, you can get in and start using apps like Airbnb, Pinterest and Etsy with your Facebook login details. This function is supported by the vast majority of apps on iOS and Android.
Naturally, Facebook doesn’t provide this service for no reason, so we advise looking closely at the permissions you’re giving away. You can limit what you share on the app by clicking “Edit the info you provide” when logging in. You can also choose whether or not you’d like to allow an app to post to Facebook on your behalf.
#6 How To Sell Stuff
You’re probably familiar with Facebook’s popular “Garage Sale” groups which allow members to buy and sell second-hand goods with nearby locals. Recently, the social media giant introduced the Buy & Sell page, an invite-only marketplace that is currently being trialed around Australia.
The function has price, location and description fields, and most usefully, has a way to designate items as sold. Currently, the function is only being rolled out to a select number of Facebook accounts. You can check if you’re part of the trial by clicking here. For everybody else, simply search for “garage sale” under Groups and join the closest community to your location.
If you have a bunch of unwanted junk lying around, Facebook is actually a pretty useful platform to spruik it on: unlike eBay it doesn’t take a cut of the proceeds. Plus, the function automatically groups communities based on location which removes the hassle and cost of postage.
#7 How to bookmark content for later reading
The Save function does exactly what it says on the tin. It allows you to save links, videos, events and places in a private folder for later viewing. This is especially handy for when you don’t have time to watch a friend’s video upload — it means you don’t have to trawl through their entire Facebook trying to find the original post.
To access this function, tap on the chevron arrow next to any link, video, event or place to send it your Saved folder. To access your Saved items, go to Saved in the left column of your News Feed (web) or More tab (mobile).
#8 How to receive event reminders
If you subscribe to events on a Facebook group’s page, you’ll receive notifications when they have something planned in your location. This is best suited to things like touring musicians but can also keep you informed about special events at nearby restaurants, clubs and venues. To use this function, go to the Events section on the group’s page and find the “Subscribe” button at the top right.
#9 How to control who pops up in your news feed
If you have a lot of Facebook friends, it can be hard to keep track of the posts and statuses that you actually care about. Thankfully, you can control who you see first via the News Feed Preferences tool.
As its name implies, this allows you to select which friends and Facebook pages you would like to see at the top of your News Feed. Other posts will still be there, but they’ll be automatically pushed beneath your preferred posters.
To prioritise specific friends, pages and groups, click on “News Feed Preferences” and tap on the desired profile pictures to see their posts first. You will then see any new stories they’ve shared since your last visit to Facebook at the top of News Feed, with a star in the top right of their post so you know why they’re at the top.
#10 How to find out if your friends are on Tinder
Tinder is a popular mobile app for organising casual “hook ups” via your phone. Because the service uses Facebook for its user logins, it’s possible to find out if your friends are members via a simple Graph Search query.
Simply type “My friends who use Tinder” as a query in Facebook and you’ll see who is using the service. This only works if Graph Search is enabled for your account. Graph Search is now deployed on all Facebook accounts with US English, but many Aussies use UK English as their setting instead. You can change it here.