Facebook Privacy Basics (January 2015): Part 3 - What You See

Posted on 2/10/2015 by in facebook privacy

In this three part series on Facebook Privacy Basics, we've shared with you how you can manage what others see about you, as well as how you allow others to interact with you. In this third and final installment in the series, we will look at your privacy settings to help you control what you see on Facebook.

Ever log into Facebook and find that you are completely unhappy with what you are seeing?  So much so that you actually consider deleting your Facebook account?  Did you know you can change some of your settings to help clean up your news feed and choose the content you care about?

Managing What You See on Facebook.

I never thought I'd see a day when Movie theaters would play full commercials during the previews, but that day has arrived.  I guess it's not surprising because advertising is everything.  Facebook Ads are in your timeline and there are some settings you can change.  You can't make them go away completely, but you can change some of your preferences.  

Changing your Facebook Ad Preferences:

  • - On a Facebook Ad showing in your timeline, click the little down arrow in the upper right corner.
  • - Select the "i" indicating Why am I seeing this?
  • - This will open a pop-up giving you a bit of generic info about advertising.  From there, you can click on "Manage Your Ad Preferences."
  • - At this point you should be seeing a REALLY LONG LIST of your Ad Preferences.  Now, you cannot completely avoid seeing Ads, but you can probably reduce the frequency at which you do see them.  Best I can tell is these lists were generated based on your interests on Facebook.
  • - Go through this list and click on the sub categories like "Places & Events" and then if you mouse over each of the items, a little "x" appears on the right side.  If you click that, it will strike that item out of your list and remove it from your Ad Preferences.  I literally removed over 100 items from my Ad Preferences and it did make the ads I'm seeing actually related to things I like.  I can't make them go away, but I can make them more interesting anyway.

So now you are still seeing some ads, but the next thing you can do is hide certain advertisers. To do this:

  • - Click on that little down-arrow in the upper right corner of the ad to expand the menu.
  • - Select "Hide all from __________"

As I mentioned before this wont make them go away completely, but at least you'll see things you actually care about if you take the time to change your Facebook Ad Preferences and Hide Advertisers.  Facebook is Free, so of course we are going to be subject to Ads.

Changing What You See in Your News Feed.

Did you know that everyone's News Feed looks different.  My husband I and I have many common interests and mutual friends, but sometimes he'll ask me "Hey, did you see what Sally Smith posted?"  Often times the answer will be "No," and this may help explain why.

Your Friends and the Pages you like are a big factor in what shows in your personal news feed. There are some things you can do to enhance your own personal Facebook news feed to tailor it more to you. 

First, if there are certain people whose posts you always want to see, add them to your Close Friends list.  You can even change your settings to be notified every time they post something!  I have this setting turned on for my husband, however I know he does not use it for me, because I am on Social Media all day long (because it's what I do), and he truly does not necessarily want to see it all.  To update your Close Friends list, go to the Friends section on the left side of your news feed and click on the More option.  Select the Close Friends list, then click on "Add Close Friends."  The rest is easy!  Choose your Close Friends!

Of course, if you "Like" a page on Facebook their posts will also show in your news feed, but you can always Unfollow any friends and pages where you don't want to see everything they are posting. When you do unfollow someone, they are not notified.  To unfollow a friend, you can click the "Following" button located at the bottom right corner of their Facebook Cover Photo.

So in Review:

In Part One, we looked at how you can change your Facebook Preferences to control what others are seeing about you.

In Part Two, we looked at how you can manage your Facebook Preferences to control how others can interact with you.

In Part Three we looked here at how you can manage the Ads that display in your news feed as well as some other settings to help improve the content in your news feed.

Facebook is a powerful platform, but knowledge is power for to not only safeguard yourself but to improve the quality of your experience.

Hopefully you found this information helpful.  


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