Tag Archives: Social network

Facebook rolls out new design for news feed

Facebook Timeline updateFacebook is slowly rolling out changes to your news feed, but this new design may not leave you grumbling like all the other changes. Unlike previous design updates, this layout one is intuitive and easy to figure out. It allows you to customize your feed based on your interests and viewing habits.

facebook photos newsfeedI think the new design features a cleaner look that’s customizable based on what you want to see. The stories and photos in your feed are bigger. You can also customize your news feed on the right hand side. You can select recent, all friends, or just photos. When you select photos only, your news feed is filled with large photos that your friends posted. The photos are vivid and large. It’s like a slideshow of your friends lives. It’s so customizable, you could view photos only from people you went to school with or your work colleagues. It’s all based on groups you create. You can also choose a news feed based on music or games. It’s all based on your interest or mood at the time.

new timeline 2 edited There is a sidebar full of icons that allow you to easily navigate to the other sections of Facebook like events, photos, and messages. There is even an icon to build a family tree.

News feed family tree icon The family tree is not an app, but you need to add it to your timeline. You can build it right on the web. You click add a family member, and Facebook automatically populates possible people. It’s pretty accurate, and based on your previous interactions and mentions. You can even get stats on your family, like age distribution, gender distribution, alive/deceased.

Facebook is trying to get you to spend more time on their site. While the family tree is an interesting feature, you need to consider what you are telling the social media site and all your friends. At some point, you need to consider what to share and what not to share. Privacy is becoming more of a privilege than a right, and we’re partly to blame. While social media sites make it easier to share and connect, the more we share the more we give up our right to privacy.

The family tree is a neat feature, because it makes it easy to see how you’re connected to loved ones. It’s visually laid out for you. However, think about what you’re doing and how much of your privacy you’re compromising.

privacy settings

Whenever changes are made, it’s a good idea to check your privacy settings. You can do this by clicking at the top of your Facebook page and choosing Settings. Then click privacy from the left hand column. You can also find privacy settings as a lock icon in the sidebar.

Most of these changes seem to effect your news feed only. The Timeline page looks the same, other than the icons that are on the left allowing you to navigate to different sections of Facebook.

My husband got the new look this weekend, but I still don’t have it. If you want to get it earlier than scheduled for your Timeline, you can add your name to the waiting list.

Facebook explains the new design here. What do you think of the changes?

Related links you may like: 
Facebook Timeline 101
How to use Facebook Graph Search
Facebook Timeline privacy

Consider Facebook to buy that perfect gift this holiday

Facebook GiftsStill undecided about a gift? Look beyond the traditional retailers and online shops. Consider the social network, Facebook, to find that perfect present. The company is adding a “gift” section, and you don’t even need the receiver’s address. The return policy is unique too.

Here’s how it works. You pick out the gift, and your friend is notified. Then, they enter their shipping information. If they don’t like the gift, they can trade it for a gift they’d rather enjoy. That’s perfect for the person who doesn’t give you any clues about what they might like for the holidays.

Before you can see the gift options, you need to enter your friend’s name. You can send everything from whoopie pies to whiskey rocks. There’s a lot of food and beverage options, but also a magazine subscription, fun quirky items like a harmonica necklace, gifts for the home or kitchen, bath and body products, kids items, fashionable things, kids products, and items that give back. You can give actual products or some are simply for gift cards.  The majority of products appear to be under $50, and the sender is charged for shipping if applicable.

It’s shopping for the lazy person who already is spending a lot of time on Facebook. It’s also a way for Facebook to make even more money, and get you to stay on its site longer.

Will you try Facebook Gifts? Click comment below.

Saving money with Facebook: Offers and checking in to locations

There are lots of places to find digital coupons. You’ll find manufacturer coupons for the grocery store in one place, and free shipping codes for online purchases on another site. Now, you can save money just by logging into Facebook. These new ads are different from the ones you’re used to seeing on the right hand side of your Facebook page. Facebook “Offers” appear in  your news feed.

When you “Like” a business page, you are entitled to special promotions from that company. Some are providing their loyal “likers” an “offer” for money off a product. When a deal or promotion is underway from a company you liked, you’ll see it in y our news feed.

This is a way for businesses to promote themselves, but also a chance for them to get to know their customers. The advertiser has access to your information when you “Like” their page.  If this sounds interesting to you, you may consider “liking” a few more pages so you can take advantage of the deals.

These promotions may seem amazing on the surface. Just read the fine print so you know the limitations.

When you see an offer in your news feed, you simply hit “Get Offer” to claim it. The deal is emailed to your account on file.

If you haven’t taken advantage of this yet, perhaps you’ve seen a friend take advantage of an offer. When a friend gets an offer, it appears in your news feed.

The offers are for in store, in store or online, or online only.

Another way to cash in on deals is to check-in with Facebook. There are very few offered in downtown Cleveland, but it’s worth it to check your area. You can search by zip code to see if there are any worth using.

Facebook Timeline 101

If you haven’t switched your Facebook page to the new timeline feature, your time is running out. Over the next few weeks, Timeline says it will be rolling out the feature to everyone who hasn’t made the switch. You’ll see a notification at the top of your home page, and get seven days to make adjustments. So, I decided to act now so I can help you with the changes.

Facebook Timeline 101
1. Stop procrastinating. Find seven days in the next few weeks where you can focus on Timeline.  Wouldn’t you like to determine when you make the switch rather than letting Facebook decide? What if you are swamped when Facebook decides to start your seven day window? Stop delaying. Carve out seven days now so you’re sure to get that Timeline looking the way you want others to see it.

2. Click here to activate Timeline on your own.

3. Instantly, Facebook converts your profile into a Timeline. Remember, it will only be visible to you for the first 7 days unless you hit “Publish Now.” During the trial, you can add or hide anything you want.

4. First, I added a cover. This is the picture you want profiled. Pick a good one, because it’s large. I originally had a vertical photo, but the cover space is more wide than tall so I think a horizontal photo works best. You can tweak the picture a little, but not enough in my opinion for a vertical photo.

Uploading a new photo takes some time, but it happens so be patient.

You want your cover photo to be different than your profile picture as that will appear in a box to the lower left of the cover photo.

5. Now, it’s time to review your posts on your Facebook Timeline. Hover over a story or post and click the star icon to feature an item and make it widescreen.

When you do this, it disrupts the flow a bit but experiment and see if you like it. It’s easy to minimize if you don’t like it. The pencil icon will allow you to hide or delete a post.

6. Facebook decides which posts will be part of your timeline and which ones will be hidden.When there is a post along your timeline, there is a dot. Look closely. Some of these dots are not associated with any posts because the dot represents a hidden When you notice this, hover over the dot  and you can see what the post says that’s hiding. While hovering, you can decide if you want to feature it or add it to your timeline.

7. Go to the upper right corner just under the cover photo and click on the Activity Log. It’s a way to manage everything you share on Facebook and it’s private. On you see the log.  Here, you can control what hits your Timeline and who sees it.

It’s much more obvious who is seeing your posts with this activity log. I recently discovered on the old Facebook profile that even if your page is private, people can see your wall posts that you made on other people’s pages and are thus subject to their privacy policies. Now, with the activity log it’s easy to control which posts are public and who actually sees them. For example, a wall post about a friends birthday showed me that all his friends can see that. It might not seem like a big deal for a birthday, but on a more sensitive post be careful if you want to keep certain aspects your life private. Having a private profile doesn’t mean everything is private. The activity log really makes this easy to follow.

An open circle on the activity log means it’s allowed on your timeline and a circle with a line through it means it’s hidden.

For more about the activity log, I highly recommend you read the Facebook explainer for more tips and tricks.

8. Map your pictures. You’ll notice the map just below your cover photo. Click on it, and you’ll be taken to a large screen of map with pictures above it. I was amazed at how many are already mapped. Things you think Facebook doesn’t know about you but really does because someone checked you into a place or previously tagged the location of a photo.

When you try to add the location of some photos, Facebook doesn’t always know where that location really is. For example, I took a girls trip to Belize recently, and Facebook mapped it in Houston, Texas.  See below.

It had one picture mapped correctly in Belize, but another friend tagged it with the name of the place we stayed. If you go generic and just do the city like Placencia, Belize it may not show up in the right place especially if it’s a different country.

It’s an interesting feature, but I think it tells a little too much about you. I think I’ll proceed with caution. I don’t mind telling people where I’ve been, but not where I am. It’s clearly a way for Facebook to get more users to use the Places feature so it might be hard to control if friends tag you as being at that place while you’re still there. For me, it’s sort of like Foursquare especially since any changes to your map are added to your News Feed. I understand social media is meant to be social and allow you to gather in places outside the Internet, but this is a little bit too much information if used and broadcast while you’re visiting that “Place.”

Overall impression
Overall, Timeline is not as intimidating as you might think. It just takes some time to go through your posts and make sure the ones you want featured are visible, and the ones you don’t want people to see are not visible. This is really time consuming if you are a frequent poster, don’t filter your posts, or you have been on Facebook for an extended period of time.

Also, make your uploaded pictures are good ones because they are quite large and prominent in Timeline. Pictures associated with a link remain about the same size.

I’m not a fan of the layout as I think it’s a bit sloppy as it Timeline’s your life, but it has some good features that really suck you into the site and get you to spend more time there.  For me, it’s much more obvious how much Facebook knows about you so it helps guide you in controlling how much information you publicize.

I’ve talked with friends who’ve had the Timeline feature for some time, and they like it. So, give it a try. Soon you won’t have a choice.

Like this post? Follow Jenn on Facebook (Jenn Strathman – WEWS) and Twitter for more posts like this one.

What do you think? Have you found a useful feature you’d like to share? Click comment below.

Facebook Timeline – what do you think?

Have you plunged into the new world of Facebook Timeline yet? We know how mandatory changes are received by Facebook fans. So far, this is still just an option. You get 7 days to arrange your timeline before it becomes live.

At first glance, I think it makes your page look really cluttered.  The cover picture which is your main picture that people see when they come to your page looks great. It’s big and full of sharp colors. However, it goes downhill from there.

Your stories are divided into two sections. You can share your most memorable posts, photos, and life events. You’re able to timeline your story and journey through life. Facebook will autofill some of your top posts, but during the 7 day preview before it becomes public, you can decide to keep or delete Facebook’s suggestions.

Your likes, friends, and places are all divided into subsections as well within this two column format. Plus, there is a timeline on the right hand side (see arrow in the picture) that allows you to sort the posts by year.

You still have privacy options to block people if you don’t want them to see a certain post. However, you are prompted to give up more personal information from your past and present. Be careful what you share. You don’t want to make yourself vulnerable for identity theft. Facebook birthdays are fun, but you probably don’t want to give your birth year. Just be careful what you share.

It’s a way to bring some of those older posts to the forefront again. Have you ever wanted to find an old post from a friend, but hated scrolling through the chronological posts? Forget it – especially if your friend had a birthday recently because you’ll be scrolling for that old post forever.

Friends who are using the Timeline feature say they thought it looked cluttered and confusing at first as well. My one friend said it’s easy to understand how to control your timeline and within 30 minutes she figured it all out. She says she kept with it because she wanted control over it rather than Facebook deciding for her when it becomes a permanent feature on everyone’s page. Now, she enjoys posting about milestones in her life.

Are you going to give Facebook Timeline a try or wait until it’s mandatory? Click comment below to weigh in on the issue.

Facebook testing news feed without “most recent” option

UPDATE 9/21 – Click here to read my latest update now that Facebook has changed the news feed for everyone

UPDATE – 9/18 – Since writing about Facebook splitting my news feed into two sections, and hearing from lots of you the layout has been fixed.  This morning, I woke up to find “most recent” and “top news” are back.

Here’s what started all this — In the new layout, the feed is divided into two areas. Your only main feed option is “Recent Stories.” To the right of it, there is a ticker of sorts with other comments and posts.

Continue reading

Facebook changes email notification setting

Facebook is at it again, making more changes to our settings. This time it involves emails alerting you when action is taken on Facebook that involves you. This would be a post, tag, mention, etc.

Facebook sent emails saying, “We’re trying out a new feature to reduce the amount of email you receive from Facebook. Starting today, we are turning off most individual email notifications and instead, we’ll send you a summary only if there are popular stories you may have missed. You can turn individual emails back on and restore all your original settings at any time.”

At least they let me know about this change. It’s a good reminder that you might want to once again check your settings and make sure they’re what you really want.

I changed my settings back so now I know when you post about me. Just warning you! :)

Facebook & Twitter security

Lately, it seems friend after friend is being hacked on Twitter.  There are a number of reasons this could be happening, and the letters “https” may have something to do with it. I posted directions to make your Twitter and Facebook accounts more secure in March, but think it’s worth re-visiting.

Creating a secure connection on Twitter
Go to the top right of your Twitter page, and click on the menu under your name.  Click on settings.  Scroll to the bottom of settings and you’ll see a box next to “Always use HTTPS.” Make sure it’s checked so you can begin browsing securely.

Twitter has also announced it’s automatically turning this feature on for a small number of users.

Creating a secure connection on Facebook
Go into Account Settings on the right hand side of your Facebook page under Account. Once you’re into Account Settings, click on Account Security.  Make sure secure browsing has a check mark next to it. This will allow you to browse securely. You’ll notice the change at the top of your browser in the address bar. It should say https. The s stands for secure.

Facebook says it may take longer for a site to load when you’re using a secure connection because the information is encrypted. Plus, some third party applications do not support https. Facebook is working to resolve those issues.

Click here to read more about this change on Facebook.

While we’re talking about social media – follow me on Facebook and Twitter so you can stay up to date on the latest money saving ideas and consumer tips.


TWITTER: JennStrathman

Facebook says phone number post is a rumor

Have you seen this post on Facebook?

ALL THE PHONE NUMBERS IN YOUR PHONE are now on facebook! go to the top right of the screen, click on ACCOUNT, click on EDIT FRIENDS, left side of screen and click CONTACTS. you will see all phone numbers from your phone (FB friends or not) are published that you have stored in your mobile phone. TO REMOVE, go to RIGHT column, click on “this page.” please repost this on your status, so your friends can remove their numbers and thus prevent abuse if they do not want them published.

Then, you head to your Contacts and see a list of phone numbers. Before you freak out, keep reading.

First, look at the list of phone numbers. It’s likely not every friend. For me, it was really a few dozen people. Facebook says you are seeing phone numbers that your friends added or numbers added when you synced your phone contacts with Facebook. The company says only you can see the numbers and calls the post a rumor.

It does raise some security concerns about posting your number on Facebook or any other personal or sensitive information. Remember, the more you disclose about yourself the easier it is for someone to find you or make you a victim of a crime.

If you are one of the consumers outraged by this, remove your phone number in your profile. Click Edit Profile and change the info. Also, unsync your phone and Facebook contact list. Finally, think before you post personal information that could be used in a malicious way.

Check-in for Delta flight on Facebook

Delta is the first airline to allow you to check-in for your flight through a Facebook app called, Delta Ticket Counter.  No need to go to Delta’s website to download or print your boarding pass.

In August, Delta began to offer flight booking through its Facebook app.  The flight check-in is the latest feature for the app.

You’ll also be able to share your itinerary right from the app with friends or family instead of having to email it separately.

While convenient, it raises questions about privacy.  I see people post pictures and daily updates while on the road. While it’s great to update friends on your whereabouts, status updates have been suspected in home break-ins.  Just make sure any app you use truly makes your life easier, and doesn’t post anything on your wall making it easier for criminals to know your whereabouts or know too much about you.