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What is Facebook?

Find out what Facebook is

So what exactly is Facebook?

Facebook is the number 1 social networking site in the world. Whether you ‘like’ it or not; excuse the pun, Facebook has revolutionised the way we use computers and the Internet with half of the reason we use the Internet dedicated to Facebook; the other half for search. You would have to be living in a cave not to have heard of Facebook and with just under a billion active registered users, if not you, or someone in your family, many people you know have a Facebook account. The Facebook website itself gets a staggering 750 million visits every day.

Facebook was launched in 2004, amid controversy over who came up with the idea, sparking several court cases involving founder Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins, who claim Mark stole their idea. Settling for about 80 million dollars and a chunk of shares, Mark has that behind him now as he continues to take social networking to a whole new level.
In 2006, Facebook was launched to the public at large; if you were over the age of 13 years, and has grown rapidly ever since, changing the look and adding extra features; including the addition of advertising and paid services to promote your posts.

How to Create a Facebook Account with these 5 Steps.

Setting up a Facebook account is easy, and quite quick, only if you know what your doing. To set one up correctly does take time and some preparation.

Note: Only set up Facebook if you plan to spend some time keeping it up to date, and responding to your friend requests and messages, otherwise save yourself the pain and call your friends and family instead; or better yet actually spend quality time with them.

Before you get started, you will need to prepare 2 images. One for your profile picture ( normally head and shoulders picture 250px x 250px in size) and one for your Timeline cover picture (851px x 315px). Having these saved on your computer will make the process run smoother.

Note too: If you are wanting to set up Facebook for business, you’ll need to create an account in your name FIRST, then add a business or company page to your profile afterwards.

  1. Visit and you will see the sign up and login page. You are required to enter your first and last names, a valid email address, then choose a password. When selecting your password make it something you can easily remember, with letters and numbers for added security. You will need to enter your gender and date of birth as well so you get the appropriate Facebook experience (and adverts).
  2. Next you add some friends. Facebook can check to see if any of the contacts in your email address book are used and if so will prompt you to add them and send a friend request.
  3. You can then add some more details about your self, past schools, employment; all geared to linking you with possible people you know already using Facebook.
  4. Now you can add your already created profile picture by uploading it from your computer.
  5. You are required to verify your email address, so check your Inbox for an email from Facebook. Once you click on the link, you are up and running; well almost!

Facebook Timeline.

The most recent, significant change to how Facebook looks was the introduction of the ‘Timeline’. The reason was to make finding older posts easier by placing everything on your ‘Wall’ in chronological order.

The Timeline allows you to add a cover photo; the one you prepared earlier can now be added.

Note on Privacy: You can adjust the privacy; decide who sees what, or delete anything that is added. This is an area that needs constant work and time spent by you, especially if you allow your friends to post on your wall.

Golden Rule: There has been much discussion about how privacy is handled on Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg summed it up himself quite well I think, when he said be honest about what you post and only post information about yourself you don’t mind anyone seeing, including future employers and your mother.

You can add and update any and all personal information you put on Facebook, but be wary about including and showing phone numbers, address details and even your date of birth if your profile is for public viewing, Here’s how you do it.

  1. Open your Timeline and at the top of the page, click on About or Update Info. The information you entered when signing up will be displayed there.
  2. Your personal information will be split up into categories with an edit button at the top of each one, click this to enter or update the information in each category.
  3. You can control what category can be seen by who, as in visible to the public, just your friends, friends of friends or just you; not sure what the point of that is?
  4. When you have added or changed the information in each category, deciding who sees it, make sure that you save your changes.
    There are some sections that will never need updating, but some you may wish to change regularly such as your ‘Relationship Status’.

Facebook Likes.

When you find a Facebook page that interests you, ‘Like’ it to receive updates in your News Feed. You can change and add Likes directly from your Timeline too by following these steps:

  1. In your Timeline (click on your name) you will see a Likes box
  2. Clicking the ‘Edit’ button, you can then edit your likes from the categories displayed.
  3. Type the name of the item you wish to add and if there are Facebook Pages for that item, they will be displayed for you to click on and add.
  4. You can control who sees your likes with the privacy options next to each category.

There are some more features included in Facebook, that I will cover later, including:

  1. Using your map, which shows the places you have added as a life event,
  2. The ‘Facebook Ticker’,
  3. Facebook Chat,
  4. Video Calling,
  5. Using Facebook Pages for Business,
  6. Facebook Security Tips,
  7. Auto tagging,
  8. Sharing your Location,
  9. Controlling your News Feed
  10. Facebook for Smart Phones such as Android and IOS versions.

So stay tuned!

As you can see there is quite a lot involved in creating and maintaining your Facebook account. It is time consuming and for many people; especially the younger amongst us quite addictive.

You may want to look at other social networking sites such as Twitter and Google Plus; Google’s version of social networking.

About Nigel Brookson

Website Designer, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur. Environmentalist. Follow me on
Twitter, plus me on Google+, like me on Facebook, visit me at Thinking IT.

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