Turn on/off Facebook comment notifications

fb-notificationsWhen you comment on someone’s Facebook post, the comments following yours get emailed to you. Don’t want these email notifications? Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the post on Facebook (click the link in the email notification)
  2. Click the grey arrow in the top right corner of the post
  3. Click “Turn Off Notifications”

Similarly, if you want to receive an email anytime someone comments on a post (but you haven’t commented on it yet), follow the same steps but select “Turn On Notifications”. This is handy if you want to follow a thread but don’t want to comment on it.

Restricted list on Facebook

Want to add someone as a friend on Facebook, but don’t want them to see your status updates or photos (for example, your boss or co-workers)? Just add them to your Restricted list. Restricted people can only see posts you make public or that they’ve been tagged in.

Add a friend to your restricted list:

  • Go to their profile page
  • Click the “Friends” button, choose “Add to another list” and choose “Restricted”

Add to or edit your restricted list:

  • On the homepage, scroll down to the Friends section on the left and click More
  • Scroll down and click Restricted
  • In the right-hand corner click Manage List > Edit List
  • Choose “Friends” from the drop-down menu
  • Select which friends you would like to restrict. You can also search for them in the search box.
  • Click Finish

Twitter lists

With Twitter lists you can:

  • Organize your twitter friends into groups
  • View and manage those groups with a desktop app like TweetDeck or Tweetbot
  • Keep lists of accounts you don’t want to follow, but want to check in on from time to time
  • Share your lists with others
  • Subscribe to other people’s lists

How to use lists

Remove annoying Facebook features

Facebook PurityOver the years, Facebook has added a lot of obnoxious features to their website (i.e. Top Stories, App Requests, Gifts, Ads, etc). Thankfully there is a free browser plugin for Safari/Firefox/Chrome that will allow you to customize and remove many of the things you don’t like.

  • Go to F.B. Purity and install the plugin for your browser of choice.
  • After you install the plugin, you will see a “F.B. Purity” link at the top of your Facebook feed. If you click on the link, it will open a window where you can make all sorts of customizations.
  • See the user guide for additional help.

Social media management

Do you manage multiple social media accounts for your business and find it hard to keep up with them all? Hootsuite is a great service that lets you connect to multiple accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). You can post updates to multiple accounts at once, schedule updates for the future, automatically share blog posts across sites, and more. Plus you can use the service for free for up to five social profiles.

Sign up for free!

Update 4/8/14: I recently discovered Buffer, which is easier to use and gives you many more social media accounts you can post to. Try it out!

Monitoring your Facebook timeline

When someone tags you in a photo or status on Facebook it gets automatically posted on your timeline. But what if you don’t want it displayed for all your friends to see? You can easily control what appears on your timeline in a few quick steps:

  1. Click on the settings tab in the upper right corner of Facebook (the gear icon) and go to Account Settings.
  2. In the left column, click on Timeline and Tagging.
  3. Under the section “Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline?” click on Edit.
  4. Change the dropdown menu to Enabled.

From now on you will receive an email (or notification in Facebook) whenever someone tries to add something to your Timeline.

There are two ways to approve these additions. One way is to click on the notification and it will take you directly to your Activity Log. Alternatively, you can click on your profile name and then click on the Activity Log button on the right of your cover photo. This Activity Log shows everything that was approved or needs approval for your timeline.

Sharing photos and files

Attaching photos or other files to an email isn’t always the best way to share them. Here are several free services that allow you to upload files and quickly share a link to them. This is especially handy for sharing on IM or social media.

Dropbox: Already have an account? Just drop any file into your public folder and right-click to get a link to share it with anyone.

Dropmark: Sign up for a free account and share collections of photos, videos, music or links. It has a really simple drag and drop interface.

TinyPic: Upload images or videos and get a link to share or send via email.

Imgur: Upload an image (or whole gallery) and get a link to share.

Sneaky Facebook apps

If you give a website or Facebook app access to your Facebook account, the site or app may start posting updates to your feed automatically for you. For example, Pinterest.com will post the images you’ve pinned and the Washington Post Social Reader will share what articles you have read.

When you grant Facebook access to a website or app, make sure to read what the site/app will be able to access and what they will share before you give your permission.

To change your app settings or remove access for an app: login to Facebook, click on the arrow in the top right corner (next to Home) and choose Account Settings. Then click on the Apps link in the left column. Click Edit next to the app if you want to change it’s access settings, or click the X if you want to remove access entirely.

More info about how Facebook Apps work

Backing up Social Media

Need to create an archive of your Twitter, Facebook, Flickr or Google accounts? Maybe you have a lot of photos on Facebook or memorable quotes from friends on Twitter. Either way, there are several options (some free, some commercial) to backup all your social data.

  • Twapper Keeper: Archives your or your friends tweets.
  • The Archivist: A Windows program to archive your tweets.
  • SocialSafe: Backup data from both your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Backupify: Backup and restore data from Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Google Apps, Flickr, Picasa and Blogger.