Sign up for our Newsletters

First Name:
Last Name:

Digital Digest

Advice 13 Things Facebook Won't Tell You

Edited by Beth Dreher

  1.  Want to know how much Facebook knows about you?  Go to Account Settings in the Home menu and click “Download a copy of your Facebook data.”
  1.  You may not want to share your updates and other personal information with the whole world, but we’ve kept the default setting as Public.  It’s better for us if you share more, and we’re assuming that most of you aren’t going to bother changing your privacy settings.
  1.  You may not see every post from your friends, and only a fraction of your friends may see all your updates.  Facebook wants users to see posts that will keep them on the site the longest, so it moves up the posts that are the most liked, shared, and commented on.
  1.  If you are signed in to Facebook, we track you while you surf the Internet.  Anytime you visit a page that has a FAcebook Like or Share button, we log that information.
  1.  If you posts are set to be Public, burglars can see your status updates and figure out when you’re not in town.  Insurance companies may also use posted information to raise a premium or deny a claim.
  1.  Posting big news like your engagement, the birth of a baby, or your acceptance to grad school?  Facebook will know.  We target those types of announcements by using something called natural language processing, and then we make sure they stick around in your friends’ news feeds until the next time they log on.
  1.  It may work to your benefit for us to know a lot about you.  For instance, if you Like the Gap Facebook page because you love to shop there, you’ll appreciate it when a coupon pop ups.
  1.  Not seeing enough posts from friends you care about-and to o many from those you don’t?  Set your news feed to sort by Most Recent, rather than Top News.  Then add your favorite people to your Close Friends list and unsubscribe from any friends whose updates you’re not interesting in receiving.
  1.  We make money by selling ad space to companies that want to reach you.  They give us demographics – the desired location, career, education level – and we put their ads on the pages of those who meet the criteria.
  1. If you really want to make sure your friends see your important news (you’re having a garage sale, for example), you can pay a fee, around $7 to $10 a post, to move your update to the top of their news feeds.
  1.  Lots of users hate Timeline, but it’s not going away anytime soon.  It’s a more effective way for people to share, it’s visually appealing, and brands love it because it gives them a better platform to market their business and show people who they are.
  1.  You can limit your posts to Facebook friends who live in your city, those who went to your college, or those you work with.  You can even choose to allow everyone to view a post except your boss.  Click the arrow in the lower righthand corner of the status update box, and you’ll see all the options.
  1.  Never leave your computer while you’re logged on to Facebook, especially if your co-workers have a sense of humor.  For a while, whenever someone at our headquarters did that, we’d write something like “I love Justin Bieber” as his or her status update.  When that happened to me, I’d get e-mails asking, “Are you OK?”

        For more insider secrets from Facebook experts, go to (click here to see this and others stories

Sources: David Jacobs, consumer protection counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C.; Brittany Darwell, lead writer for; Justin Lafferty, coeditor at; Cameron Camp, cybersecurity expert at ESET in San Diego; and a former Facebook employee.

March, 04 2013