Facebook is one of the most popular—the most popular, in fact—place to hang out online. The native interface, however, is a bit bland. There are some fun tools that you can use to make your experience more interesting. Some of them are actually provided by Facebook itself and make it easy to stay in touch with the people on your friends list when you’re away from the computer, allowing you to get around and enjoy yourself and not be stuck in front of the PC screen all day and night.
Facebook has a mobile application for smartphones that offers most of the functionality of the in-browser version. Depending upon your connection—3G or 4G—it’s not quite as fast as participating on a computer. There are some differences that you might want to keep in mind when you’re using this app, however, that might also influence how you use it.
- Images are less intuitive to scroll through
- Videos oftentimes don’t play the way you’d like—meaning without stuttering
- Comments are more awkward to work with
Overall, however, the mobile versions of Facebook are good ways to improve your experience. As a tip, only go with the official versions; anything else is probably just trying to get at your username and password. Remember that they save your information, as well, so anyone who steals your phone will have access to your account until you lock them out of it.
As you know, the Blackberry doesn’t support Facebook Chat – thankfully, Chit Chat for Facebook Blackberry does.
Facebook allows you to create groups of users. This is one of the more underused features on the service and one of the most useful, as well. This allows you to take care of one of the major dangers of Facebook: having people post inappropriate content for certain audiences to your profile. You can post items for only certain groups, which is a nice way to keep your personal and professional lives private. You can also restrict who can see posts to your wall and so forth, so you can avoid embarrassment.
Of course, there’s more to groups than just making sure that nothing embarrassing happens. Some of your content will simply not be interesting to some friends. Your old high school friends you found on Facebook, for instance, probably don’t care if there’s something going on with your work, so you can post those items for your work group alone. This ensures that people don’t get tired of your feed and that you keep people interested in the things you do have to say that concern them.
One feature that’s related that you may not know about is the “Hide Posts” feature. This is less severe than blocking someone, an option that basically erases them from the Facebook world for you. You can simply hide a member’s posts if they get on your nerves. Too much drama? Select “Hide all Posts by this User” next to their post on your wall and they’ll go away for a while. You can see all of their posts in response to others, but you don’t have to read their posts directly on your wall.
Facebook Emoticon Enhancements
Emoinstaller is an Facebook emoticon add-on that lets you add new emoticons to your conversations that you can share with friends that also have the software installed. It’s simple and easy to use and adds a palette of choices to the chat interface. This can be a fun way to jazz up chats a bit, of course, and can make it more interesting to carry on with the messenger service or on your wall.
If you don’t have this installed and someone else does and they send you an emoticon that you don’t have available, the program will alert you and offer information for a download. There are other programs that offer this same functionality, but Emoinstaller doesn’t have any adware or other hazards attached to it, making it a safe choice. It also won’t spam your wall with posts advertising itself or anything else, a frequent problem with Facebook apps that use less than honest means to advertise themselves to potential new users.
Remember that some Facebook apps are, indeed, very real threats to your privacy. You can always check the EULA to make sure that they’re not using your information for anything you’re not comfortable with. Facebook itself offers privacy settings on its mobile and online versions. Emoinstaller doesn’t use your information to advertise to third parties.
Using the right apps and add-ons can make Facebook chat emoticons a lot more fun. If you’re interested in trying out new apps, be sure to search for them on your favorite search engine first and to check to see if there are negative reviews out there that have to do with the applications posing security risks or other problems. You should always read the license agreement, as well.