More than 2.3 billion people actively use Facebook as of 2019, and the average user spends 20 minutes a day on the social media site. Facebook is woven into the fabric of our daily lives online, and there’s much more to the platform than endlessly scrolling through your news feed. Whether you spend just a few minutes checking in or hours on the site, these lesser-known Facebook features, such as sending money through Messenger and joining secret groups, can enrich your time on Facebook.
1. Never Lose a Post
If you’re stuck in a scrolling trance, it’s easy to lose track of that one post you meant to return to and read later. The Save function gathers, organizes and makes all your “read later” posts easy to access when it’s more convenient for you. Simply click the three dots in the top right corner of the post and select the first drop-down option “Save post.”
Later, when you’re ready to read that in-depth article or make that recipe for dinner, look on the left column of your Facebook feed. Under the “Explore” header, you should see the “Saved” option marked by a purple bookmark. (If you don’t see it listed, click “See More.”) All your saved posts will appear here, and you can even search through them or create an organized collection.
2. Send Money Through Facebook
Facebook Messenger isn’t only for chatting anymore. You can pay your friends and family for lunch, babysitting or even rent right in the messaging system. After you add your debit or Paypal account, find the Facebook friend you’d like to send money to and open a chat. Click the dollar sign icon and select “Next,” where you’ll enter the amount to be paid. To receive the funds, your Facebook friend will have to add their debit card or Paypal account. Keep in mind that the money may not show up for three to five business days, and you can only send money to people in the same country as you.
3. Post Disappearing Stories
Not every thought and photo needs to make an appearance on your Facebook profile, and no one likes a serial poster who clogs the Facebook feed with excessive posts. Stories is the ideal feature for sharing those everyday moments. The posts are only visible for 24 hours, and people have to click on it at the top of the Facebook page to view, so you know you’re not cluttering anyone’s feed.
4. Connect With Local Politicians
Facebook is making it easier than ever to get involved in local politics, and no, not just by giving everyone a platform for rants. At Facebook Town Hall, input your address and the platform will present you with the names of and contact information for local, state and federal representatives. This feature can also send you voting reminders for your community.
5. Get Your Comments Seen
In 2019, Facebook changed how it promotes and makes comments visible. It’s not the simple chronological order of yesterday. Now, comments that have a reply from the original poster (OP) and those that have reactions or replies from that person’s friends are prioritized over other comments.
Keep in mind that the OP can hide, block or delete comments and can even disable the comment ranking feature.
6. Watch TV Together
Social media has a way of both connecting and isolating people. Facebook Watch parties are another feature that aim to connect people even when they’re apart. A watch party is created from your timeline, a page you admin or a group. Select the friends you’d like to view videos with on Facebook Watch and you and your friends can share reactions and comments in real time.
7. Temporarily Unplug
Sometimes it’s important to step away from the screens and connect with the physical world. If you’re looking to get rid of the temptation of logging into your Facebook account during a social media cleanse, there’s a way to shut down your page without erasing your digital life.
To deactivate your Facebook page, go to Settings. Click on “Your Facebook Information” in the left column, and select “Delete Your Account and Information.” Clicking “Deactivate Account” will temporarily remove your account from the platform, until you’re ready to enter the digital realm again. When you reactivate the account, all your photos and memories will be restored.
8. Keep Your Friends List Close
They say you can never have too many friends, but Facebook disagrees. The maximum amount of friends a regular profile can have is 5,000. If your profile reaches the limit, Facebook will not allow you to friend or be friended on the platform.
If your goal is to have as many friends and connections as possible on Facebook, change your personal profile to a Facebook Page and friend away.
9. Click-Gap is Cracking Down on Fake News
For many, Facebook is a primary news source. The social media platform spreads information about everything from crisis incidents and how to assist victims to current political updates. Unfortunately, sometimes the influence of Facebook is used to rampantly spread misinformation.
The 2019 Facebook algorithm works to stop the spread of fake news and harmful posts that make false health claims by using a click-gap signal. The signal analyzes linking patterns to verify whether a site is credible or not.
10. Discover Groups of Like-Minded People
Facebook Groups are designed for people with similar interests to have a digital space to commune. Some groups are public and can be easily searched for and joined at will. Other groups are private and can only be joined if a member of the group invites you. By making Facebook Groups a central focus of the platform, the company hopes users experience more meaningful time spent on the app and website. According to Facebook Newsroom, the 2019 redesign will make Facebook Groups easier to discover and participate in, as well as create new subsections of groups.
Whether you use Facebook as a mental escape from the daily humdrum or as a tool to connect with others, there are plenty of features to enhance your use of the platform. Understanding these functions can support authentic social connections and improve the quality of information on your Facebook feed.