OK, listen, I know we are all freaked by the new Facebook user interface. And with good reason. Some of it seems like they just went, “oh yeah, we forgot we needed that!” and stuffed it in their suitcase last minute and had to sit on it to close it. But some if it is actually decent when you start playing around with it – ONLY SOME – and as my friend Meghann keeps reminding me, there is always Facebook Lite.
But, today, I want to talk about a way to make your life happier in Facebook. As I mentioned at the “Intro To Social Media” talk I gave last week – it is a common comparison to think of Facebook as your house, and Twitter as a cocktail party. So, while we are sitting in our houses, we may play board games with our guests UP TO A POINT, like maybe 3 hours worth, but there comes a time to clean up. Put away dishes. And STOP DEALING WITH THE EFFING REQUESTS TO PLAY MAFIA WARS.
This is why I prefer Twitter, people.
A few friends SOSed recently, wanting to STOP THE MADNESS, and with the help of James, ie My Tech Guru, we gave the following tips on hiding the stuff you don’t like in Facebook while still staying in touch. This is one thing I *do* really like about Facebook. Control. Hey, great – let people play their mafia wars and have a ball. I just don’t feel like watching. I want to see what people are up to, go to their events and look at their photos. Lord help me. Am I having a scrapbooking party in my Facebook house? Fuck.
OK. Deep breath.
First, most apps require you to install them on Facebook to use them. Friend Facts, Mafia Wars, Farmville among them. These are not part of Faceboook, they are 3rd party applications that you opt into. To play these apps, you must install, and they will show up in your “Application Settings” (under “Account” tab in top right of new design).
Many of these apps will only show up in your Home News Stream if BOTH you and your friend have the app installed (example, Friend Facts).
(Sidenote: “Top News” shows only the 250 people you interact with most – although you can up that number in “Edit Options” at the bottom – while “Most Recent” shows everything. Guess where I spend most of my (small amount of) time in Facebook?)
Some apps ALSO will post to status updates to *everyone* as a way to advertise (example, Farmville and Mafia Wars). So, you don’t have to have the app installed to see the, erm, crap that is spewed from them.
SO, to stop seeing these things, find an update about the app from a friend in your home feed, go to the right of it, and click “Hide.” THE HIDE BUTTON IS YOUR FRIEND – ALMOST AS MUCH AS YOUR FRIEND IS YOUR FRIEND. When you click that, options appear that say “Hide Aimee” “Hide Farmville” or “Cancel” – be sure to think about what you are doing here – that you probably want to hide the APPLICATION, not the person… thus all “Farmville” updates will be stopped universally for all friends, that you don’t want to block “Aimee” the person.
Unless! You *do* want to hide me. *I* am a person who feeds my Twitter directly into Facebook, so the same update goes in both places. So, sure, hide me! This is a way for us to be able to message and invite each other to events via Facebook but *not* have me clog up your stream. I dutifully apologize for this setup, and as I have mentioned, I turn this off during big conferences (example: SXSWi) – but if I did not do it this way, my Facebook status would have little tumbleweed icons in it.
Another sidenote: You *cannot* hide things in the mobile app, but the choices you make on the web will stop this crap everywhere. And the mobile app is clearly where they spent their usability dollars because it is awesome.
Now, if you hide something and you want to unhide it, go to the bottom of your home feed and click “Edit Options” and there you can unhide anything you have hidden in the past. Also, in this area, you can add friends, to tell Facebook to bring them up more frequently – like I have I have added my husband, seeing as he uses Facebook even less than I do, so it would be nice to catch him when he is actually on.
OK. There you go. Cleaning your Facebook house made easy. Next up: Giving yourself permission to untag unflattering photos.
Any other tips to share?