Facebook, Meta's well-known social media platform, is still used by nearly 3 billion people despite ongoing criticism. These features are damn good to know.
Those ads popping up on Facebook can drive you crazy, but sometimes they can actually come in handy because you're actually looking for a product or service. Other times, you'll see ads that you're not interested in at all. You can easily determine what kind of advertisements you want to encounter on Facebook via the Ads preferences setting.
Go to Settings, then to 'Ads' and then to 'Ad topics'. With these settings you can see all your interests about which you receive advertisements. You can delete them, but you can also add interests. If you click on 'Advertisers' you can see which companies are placing ads on your Facebook page. Here you can choose to stop seeing advertisements from these companies.
2. Message Requests
Many people don't know they have it; an overflowing inbox with Message requests. This is the folder where Facebook sends all messages from people you are not friends with yet. This folder can be filled with bots, with vague companies wanting something from you, with so-called lotteries or crypto scams or with actual existing acquaintances with whom you went to school.
By clicking the Messenger icon at the top of your Facebook home screen, you can see all the requests. You then delete the majority and grant the few actually nice requests. You can also look in Spam, there are requests that Facebook immediately considered suspicious.
3. Questionable Logins
This will (hopefully) not happen often, but it could be that someone logs into your Facebook account without your permission. Fortunately, you can see exactly who is active on your account. Go to 'Settings' and then to 'Security & Login'. Here you can see which devices are logged in to your account.
You can also log out devices that you do not know. Handy if this happens unexpectedly: change your password and set up two-step verification. You may also receive alerts from unrecognized logins. You can turn this on in the same menu, for this you have to scroll down.
4. Stop seeing posts, but stay friends
In theory, all your Facebook friends are actually people you like and like, but in practice, of course, that's not the case. Everyone has dutifully complied with a friend request only to be treated to posts that you really don't want at all.
The easiest way out is not to unfriend these people, but to unfollow them. Their posts will no longer appear in your News Feed, but you will remain friends on Facebook. Go to Settings & Privacy, then News Feed Preferences, and then click Unfollow. The people you unfollow will not be notified.
5. Download everything you've ever posted on Facebook
You may want to quit Facebook and delete your account, but still download everything you've ever posted. You might want to have a personal copy of everything you've ever shared with the world on Facebook anyway. Anyway, you can get your hands on this in its entirety.
Select 'Settings & Privacy' and click 'Settings'. Then click on 'Your Facebook data' in the left column. Next to 'Download your data', click 'View'. Here you will find everything you need to do. Depending on how fanatical and how long you are on Facebook, it can take a while before you have your complete archive.
6. What to do in case of death?
Select 'Settings & Privacy' and click 'Settings', click 'Settings for memorialized accounts'. Select a friend's name in 'Choose a friend' and press the confirm button. Facebook will also let your friend know that you have set this up, although it is wise to discuss this personally beforehand.
You can also choose to have your account deleted after your death. Facebook will then send an annual reminder to check your status, unless you disable that option. If you're a contact person for someone who has passed away, you can use a request form to request Facebook to have their account remembered.
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