With over 1.44 billion active users monthly, Facebook is a social media behemoth. Americans spend around 40 minutes a day on it, accounting for nearly 20% of total time online. But even with all that usage, there are a number of features you probably didn't even realize Facebook had:
1. Share a post with everyone except one person.
Friends with your boss or colleagues on Facebook but don't want them to know just how hard you partied last night? You can post a Facebook update and exclude only certain people from seeing it.
How to do it: Facebook app > start a post > dropdown menu below your name (starts with Friends) > Friends except ... > Add all the Friends you (don't) want.
2. Have Facebook stop automatically playing videos in your feed.
Surreptitiously scanning your Facebook news feed during a meeting gets a lot more conspicuous if a video suddenly starts emitting loud sounds of a cat falling down a staircase.
Change your settings to prevent such autocratic auto-playing. Not only will this save your sanity, it will save you a lot of data on your phone plan.
How to do it: Facebook app > More > Settings > Account Settings > Videos and Photos > Auto-play > Never Autoplay Videos.
3. Change your relationship status without alerting the known universe.
Heartbreak is hard enough without your college roommate's best friend reaching out about your newly single status. You probably didn't know you can switch your status without announcing it to everyone in their news feed. (Note: You can also do this with job changes.)
How to do it: Your profile in the app > About > Relationship > small button on bottom left with silhouettes > change to Only Me > switch status to Single (or whatever you like). Changes will not appear in others' news feeds.
4. Teach people how to pronounce your name correctly.
Tired of having to explain it all the time? Let Facebook do the work for you.
Profile page in app > Edit info > scroll down to + How do you pronounce your name? This will then show up for people in your "About" section.
5. Disable Facebook Messages-read receipts (when it says "seen").
If you're like me, you don't always want people to know when you've seen their Facebook messages. Sometimes you'll even studiously avoid a message because you know once you open it, you'll feel forced to reply.
Fortunately, there's an app for that -- sort of. While you can't avoid read receipts on the Facebook mobile app, there are several options on desktop. The free app Unseen allows you to secretly read Facebook messages without the sender knowing. Unfortunately, enabling this superpower means you won't be able to see when others have read your messages. It's not perfect, but it's better than avoiding messages altogether for fear of being "seen."
How to do it: If you're using Chrome, download the extension Unseen for Facebook. If you use Firefox and/or Internet Explorer, install Chat Undetected.
6. Export birthdays into your calendar.
One of the most useful parts of Facebook is getting to seem really thoughtful for remembering people's birthdays, but it can be annoying to have to check it daily just for that. Export birthdays into your calendar to never miss one again.
How to do it (easiest from desktop, not the app): Facebook homepage (not your profile) > Events > scroll down to box on the right that says "You can add your events to Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar or Apple Calendar." > Birthdays. Copy that link, then open Google Calendar > Other Calendars > click the down arrow > Add by URL > paste the URL.
7. Save articles for later.
There are probably a number of interesting articles you see in your feed but don't have time to read right then. Facebook has a built-in bookmark feature to help with this.
How to do it: Click the Share button on the article > Save Link. On desktop, your bookmarked articles will stay in the Saved tab on the left; on mobile, in More > Saved.
Facebook was created to help you connect with others. But let's Face it -- it's even better when you get to connect with them on your own terms.