Most people have a love/hate relationship with facebook. You love seeing the photos of your ex-boyfriend looking bald and chunky with his new wife, you hate getting an update on your cousin’s potty training success with photo evidence. You like hearing your co-worker’s recommendation for a local restaurant, you don’t like hearing your high school friend’s political rant on how all unborn babies have a right to own a firearm.
Welcome to my newsfeed.
Facebook and I have an even more complicated relationship since Facebook is what drives a great deal of traffic to my site. It’s no secret that it is getting harder and harder for fanpages (like Mommy Shorts) to show up in their fans’ newsfeeds. There are more brands on Facebook than ever, which means newsfeed real estate is highly sought after space.
I could pay for more exposure but it’s not within my budget. But if you really want to see me (or whatever page you would prefer to see), there are a few things you can do.
The first is to go to my page and click “get notifications” in the dropdown menu under “Liked”. That way you will be notified every time I post. Don’t worry— I don’t flood my feed with every poop story and baby milestone. I post 1-3 poop stories a day at most.
The second thing you can do is a biggie. Facebook feeds you stuff based on what you have liked, commented on, shared or clicked in the past. This pertains to fanpages and friends. SO. If you want to continually see stuff from Mommy Shorts (instead of that wacko college roommate who keeps posting pictures of her cat in medieval costumes), you should “like”, “comment” and “share” everything you see of mine. (Except my poop stories. I understand.)
Feeling crazy? You can hide the medieval cat person without unfriending them. She will never know.
How did I find out all this nifty information?
Facebook invited me to their offices. No, they didn’t fly me out to California. They just opened an office right in my neighborhood. I can practically stroke Mark Zuckerberg’s hand while I lay myself to sleep.
For a blogger with an active fanpage, visiting Facebook feels a little like pulling back the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. Incidentally, the Wizard of Oz is a bunch of twenty/thirty-somethings sitting at communal tables and conference rooms very much like every other office I’ve ever seen. Except, Oz has lots of free snacks. I pocketed a bag of kettle corn and a full-size Twix bar before I tapped my ruby slippers to take me back to Kansas.
In addition to telling me about “notifications” and asking me to write on their wall (literally, see photo up top), Facebook showed me how they are working to improve their site by giving users more control over what’s public and what’s private.
Since most of my readers are on Facebook, I thought you all might like to hear about the new features too.
UPDATED FACEBOOK LOGIN
You know how most apps give you the option to login through Facebook (which would be much easier than creating a whole new profile and password), but once you click “login through Facebook”, it asks if the app can access your bio, manage your photos, email your friends, steal all the cash out of your bank account and kidnap your children? And it’s like— ALL OR NOTHING, ARE YOU IN??? And you’re sitting there thinking… well, I don’t think the app will take my children but is Candy Crush IV really worth the risk???
Well, now Facebook has implemented a new policy which gives users the ability to uncheck information they are not comfortable with giving away. So maybe you are okay with the “What Kind of Waffle Are You?” quiz knowing your birthday, but you are not okay with it accessing all your friends’ email addresses (BACK OFF, WAFFLE QUIZ!). You will now have those options.
You’re also able to easily opt out of the app posting everything you do with it on Facebook. So that time “Ilana bought twelve packs of pink undies using the Panty Finder app!” sat on the top of your feed for 24 hours before your old gym teacher alerted you, won’t happen again.
APP SPRING CLEANING
For all the apps you’ve joined before the update (like all 1,438,675 of them), you can go back into your “App Settings” to easily manage permissions for each app and delete apps you no longer use. (Are you over Farmville and prefer never to speak of that dark period in your life again? DELETE!)
To get to App Settings on Facebook, go to Settings > Apps.
NEW PRIVACY SETTINGS
Previously, all facebook settings were set to “public” unless you switched them manually. But recently, Facebook changed things so the default audience for new users is “friends” instead. Good to know if you have kids just joining facebook.
For current users, Facebook is rolling out a new privacy checkup tool, which will take you through a few steps to review things like who you’re posting to, which apps you use, and the privacy of key pieces of information in your profile. You probably joined before having kids, so these things might matter more to you than they did in the past.
They also created a simplified audience selector and prompts for public shares to make sure you are telling your closest friends about the results of your pap smear and not the entire western hemisphere.
Of course you might be the kind of person who wants to share your pap smear results written in black Sharpie on a white piece of paper set to music in a video entitled “My Day at the Gynecologist”, but that’s not for everyone. And I will probably block you. Because I can.
So that’s it.
Like and share all the Mommy Shorts stuff you see on facebook, stop following the cat lady, protect your family from the waffle quiz and share your pap smear results only with your closest friends.
You and Facebook will be much happier together now.