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80,258 News Articles

Tips and tricks to fix Facebook

Alleviate common problems on the social network

If you like Facebook but don't like the way it handles privacy and annoying applications, here are some simple fixes.

Showing your friends list
You're still friends with your former co-workers - or with employees at your ideal next workplace. Such connections could translate into guilt by association, should your current supervisor see who your friends are on Facebook. The same holds true for segregating other parts of your life. For example, you may not want a family member to see your full list of friends.

The fix: Hide your friends list
On your profile page, click the pencil icon in the 'Friends' box in the left column, then click 'Change Visibility Settings'. You can then choose specific people for whom you allow or disallow access to your friends list. For those with restricted viewing rights, this is an all-or-nothing option: Facebook does not offer the sort of granular control that would allow you to show off only some of your connections and not others.

Type size
There are two ways to view your friends' updates: aggregated into your home page's newsfeed or on a per-friend basis by visiting their walls. Traditionally, those two options were presented at different type sizes: 13 and 11 points, respectively.

In late October, Facebook changed these displays to consistent 11-point type. But since the newsfeed tends to have more content than a user's wall, cramming so much data into a smaller font proved problematic. The new font was just too small for most viewers' eyes.

The fix: Set your own type size
Most browsers will enlarge an entire page if you press Command-Plus or Alt-Plus on your keyboard, but this magnifies everything: buttons, pictures, margins and more. A more focused approach is to modify just the typeface in the newsfeed. Use either Better Facebook or F.B. Purity to configure a custom type size. After your newsfeed loads, these plug-ins quickly re-render the page to your specifications, producing a slight delay but a more readable display.

Group messages
Facebook groups, like Facebook pages, make it easy to identify with a cause or a brand that interests you and to receive information about those topics. But a recent feature, confusingly called Facebook Groups, can inadvertently be a source for spam, emailing you every time a fellow group member has anything to say.

The fix: Configure your notification settings.
Facebook users can engage in a variety of activities, from poking to photo-tagging, each of which you can be notified of via either email or SMS. These options are defined in your notification settings. The specific item that controls group messages is labelled 'Change email settings for individual groups'.

NEXT PAGE: Searching your wall history

  1. Alleviate common problems on the social network
  2. Too many applications
  3. Showing your friends list
  4. Searching your wall history
  5. Problems that don't have a fix
  6. The ultimate fix

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