How to use Facebook, a Beginner’s guide

I was infact going to write some other post about Facebook, even started it but then I thought that first I should write about the basics of Facebook so that I can help newbies learn Facebook. I will write on that topic later on.

I have tried to make it as easy and interesting as possible and include almost all features a new user requires. Regular users of Facebook can also read this post as they might learn something new. This post will help as a base for other posts about Facebook in future.

Introduction to Facebook


Just like Twitter, Facebook is another popular social networking site. In fact it is the most popular social networking site in the world with over 1.1 billion users.

Facebook is used by people to meet old friends and make new ones. After making friends they share all sorts of data like information, photos, music, videos, jokes etc. They can also join groups on Facebook to interact with people of similar interests like them.

Facebook is an American company and website which was launched on February 4, 2004  by Mark Zuckerberg, along with his other companions from Harvard College.


Facebook is also used by people for professional and business purposes.

Facebook’s mission is to make the world more connected by helping people to easily interact with each other no matter how far they are.

What is Social Networking?


Well I said “Social Networking” so do u know what is means exactly?

Social Networking is basically the activity which allows a user to interact, communicate and share something with other users on a website. In this way users builds connections and communities.

It also allows user to create or join groups in order to meet people with similar interests. Examples of Social Networking sites include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.


Nowadays everyone seems to be on Facebook no matter what he/she does i.e either a CEO, doctor, engineer, accountant, student or even a watchman, the list goes on.

That’s why you want to join Facebook but don’t know how to do that and use it effectively. 

How to use Facebook


In this post I will tell you the basics of Facebook so that you can get up and running. I will list the details step wise to make it easy for you.

1) Get a Facebook Account


First step is to sign up for a Facebook account which is obviously free. Go to Facebook website to get an account. It is available on home page.

After filling in the required details like your name and email address, Facebook will send you a confirmation email to confirm that this account is being created by a human not a machine.

It is self-explanatory and very easy to sign up so I won’t go into details for this. Please see the following video to see how to create a Facebook account.



Video from iTech

2) Setup your Profile


After getting Facebook account and signing in you will be asked to find your friends on Facebook. Please skip this step (it will be done next ) and move to next step to create your profile.

Your profile is what others see about you and make an opinion.

Initially I also used to think it’s not very important to fill it up but it’s really very important to show the world who you are.

You profile area is also called “Timeline” on Facebook because all of your activities are stored here in chronological order.

At the top of this page is a large area for your cover photo. Inside this picture is another picture area which if for your “Profile” photo. Please fill up both areas with suitable pics.

Your profile area contains other vital information about you like your education, work, hobbies, interests, relationship status etc.

It should be filled to provide information about yourself to people and friends when they visit you profile page. You can also visit a person profile area before accepting or sending a friend’s request.

Facebook Profile

This page helps people to make an opinion about you in order to become friends with you or not. So it is really very important to give it due consideration because you know first Impression is the last impression.

3) Make friends on Facebook


After filling up your profile now it’s time to make friends on this popular website, which is obviously why you are doing all this. Click on “Find Friends” button in the left column under the “Apps” heading to look for your friends.

Here you can search for friends by different options like Name, city, school, company etc. You can also import contacts from your different email accounts to add them as friends on this page.

Find friends Facebook

You can also use Facebook’s traditional search option at top to look for friends but it presents a lot of names so it is difficult to find the exact one.

Anyway when you have found the person you are looking for then click on his\her name and click on “Add Friend “. When that person will accept your friend request then you both will become friends and see other posts and other activities.

This way you will start to build your friends list.

One additional way that I have used to find friends is to look for friend list of my friend as we have common friends sometimes. This way you maybe able to find a new friend.

Once you have some friends and have liked pages and added comments then Facebook automated friend recommendation tool will start to work and will recommend you the names of people you may know and add friends.

a) Friend’s list


Once you have some friends then it is good idea to separate them in lists so that you can see different messages depending on the list. Go to “Friends” link in left side column and click on Add list option to create a new list and add member to it as shown below.


Friend list Facebook

b) Unfollow Friend


You can choose to unfollow a friend so that you cannot receive his\her updates but maintain friendship. It is done for those persons who post unnecessary things which are irritating and only waste time.

Go to profile page of that friend and click on Following button and then click on “Unfollow”. He/She will not be notified that you unfollowed.

Unfollow Facebook

c) Unfriend


In order to completely disconnect from a friend, unfriend him\her. But use it as a last step as unfrieding is considered bad.

Go to profile page of that friend and click on Friends button and then click on “Unfriend” option. He/She will not be notified that you broke your friendship.:)

4) Homepage


When you use Facebook for the first time then its interface may appear confusing to you. Below are the different components of Facebook homepage explained in order to make them clear and easy for you:

a) Features in Left Column


On the left side column there are different features which include Edit Profile, Facebook Groups, Facebook Friends, Apps (games etc) etc. Explore them to get used to these features of Facebook homepage.

Homepage Facebook

b) Facebook Groups


In the left hand side column there is Groups option which includes options to create a new group or to join existing groups.

Groups is a powerful feature to get together with like-minded people and share\communicate with them on specific topics. Like I have joined groups related to Technology.

c) Search box


At the top of the page on left side is search box where you can search for friends, people, celebrities, brands etc. It appears on both homepage and profile page.

d) Status Update (from you)


Below search box is the place to type your status and post it on your timeline.It is the message written by a Facebook user to communicate something like what they are doing, share any news, thought, photos, videos etc.

It is written in Publishing box at the top of the page where “What’s on your mind?” is written.

It is called “Status Update” because they don’t go to a specific person but to all persons who are your friends. Depending upon news feed updates you may see them or miss them because latest updates appear on top of the page.

Status box Facebook

Apart from sending messages it includes option to add photos\videos. You can Tag people (means to specify person related to a post), show how you are feeling and place where you are by using “Check In” option.These options are in lower left corner.

Also you can specify whether your update is “Public” or can been seen only by your friends or only you.

It appears on both homepage and profile page.

e) Status Update (from friends)


Updates from your friends appear in News Feed. You have the options to Like, Comment or Share them if you like.

f) News Feed


Also called “Stream”, it is the information and updates posted by your friends. It appears in middle column.

It only contains information posted by your friends. So every person’s news feed will be different depending upon friend’s list. It can contain text, video and audio.

News Feed Facebook

You can open Homepage by clicking on “Facebook” icon in upper left corner.

g) Profile


Next to search box on the right side there is an option called Profile which has a picture of you. Click on it to see your Profile\Timeline page and to edit it.

h) Home\Find Friends


Next to Profile is Home option to come back to homepage if you are on any other page.

Find Friends is the same option as present in left column discussed earlier.

i) Friend Requests


Next to “Find Friends” there is an icon showing two person. It is for showing requests from persons who are interested to start friendship with you.

Here you can confirm it or delete requests. Also there is settings page on it to set who can send you friend request, “Everyone” or “Friend of Friends”.

j) Messages


Along side “Friend Requests” there is icon of “Messages” which shows chat messages with your friends. Here you can send a new message too.

Homepage Facebook 2

k) Notifications


Next to Messages, this option shows different notifications like when someone likes your comment or post. It also shows when someone makes a comment or post to a group that you have joined.

It also contains a settings page to modify what notifications you get and to give sound alerts for new notifications.

l) Privacy\Drop down menu


Here there are different options for privacy and settings but I will cover them later on in detail.

m) Chat 


On the right side column of homepage a list of your friends appears with whom you can chat. Friends with green dots are those who are online and you can chat with them.

n) Ticker


Also in right column there is “Ticker” which shows activities of your friends like when they like something or make new friends. It is doesn’t include status updates\posts by them.

5) Profile page


Your profile page is where you give information about yourself and show your Profile photo. It is you Timeline too. Here  all of you activity appears that you have done like your status updates and photos\videos you have shared with your friends.

You can also see list of all of your friends.These all options are shown below:

Facebook Profile page

6) Settings


Facebook Setting page can be accessed by clicking on the drop down menu on Homepage as shown below:

Settings Facebook

These settings include different options to set Name, Username, Password and Contact email address on General Tab.

There are also setting for Security, Privacy, Notification, Mobile no etc. They are shown below:

Settings Facebook

7) Privacy Controls


By default Facebook allows all of your activity to be viewed by anyone (Public) in the world. It may not be acceptable to all. Facebook privacy settings allow you to set who can see you activity and personal information.

You should set it to suit your needs.

There are different privacy settings for different options available.

a) Control who see you posts & send you friend request


Following page shows that you can set who sees your posts, send you friend requests and look you up using your email id and phone number.

These setting can be accessed by clicking on the drop down menu on Homepage in upper right corner, click Settings and then click on “Privacy” in left side column.

Click on “Edit” to change these settings from “Public” or “Everyone” to Friends or only yourself.

Privacy Facebook

b) Control who sees your Friends list


Go to your Profile page by clicking your name on the top of Facebook page. Click on “Friends” then click on pencil icon called “Manage” and then click “Edit Privacy”.

Here you will find options to select who can see your friends list (Public or only Friends) and who can see the people and lists you follow.

c) Control who sees your Profile info


Click on “Edit Profile” in the upper left side of you Homepage to edit your Profile information. Here you can click on different setting like your education, work, relationships and change privacy setting by clicking “Options” and then “Edit” on right side .

Below you can see “Public” selected so change it to be seen only by your friends, only you or a custom list of friends. It is shown below to make it clear for you.


Profile Facebook

These all settings help you to secure your information so that you don’t accidentally share any thing private\personal with the entire world.


Please see this post from Harsh Agrawal (, a very famous blogger, to secure your Facebook account:

A Beginner Guide to Secure Facebook Account


If you are interested to learn Twitter also, please see the related posts section below.


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Ahmer Faraz is an IT Executive. He blogs about Technology through his blog “”.

His aim is to provide Technology information in a simple way so that people like you can understand different Technology concepts easily and get new updates on a regular basis.

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