13 really useful Facebook for Android tips and tricks

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - AndroidPIT) (David Nield,

IT’S the world's biggest social network — with 1.49 billion users to its name — but even if you spend a lot of time inside Facebook's Android app, you may not have explored everything it has to offer. We're here to change that with a comprehensive list of tips, tricks and features to look out for.

Whether you're running Facebook on a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge or a trusty Nexus 7, you'll find these tips helpful for sorting through your news feed, improving the security of your account, finding the best content faster and sharing status updates more easily, plus more besides. 1. Use the widget Facebook's widget is simple but useful. It gives you a scrollable window for tapping through your friends' status updates without the extra adverts and other baggage in the full app.

You can update your own status from the widget too, by tapping Share. It's a handy way of getting important information right there on your home screen. 2. Manage your notifica

tions Drowning in a deluge of updates and alerts from your friends? You'll be relieved to hear that Facebook actually makes it pretty easy to switch particular types of notifications on and off.

Head to App settings > Notification settings and you'll be able to enable or disable alerts for wall posts, messages, comments, friend requests, photo tags, event invites and more. 3. Find interesting places

nearby The Facebook app for Android can do certain tricks that the desktop site can't — such as making better use of your location. Choose Nearby Places to find places around you that have their own Facebook Page.

It's a handy way to discover restaurants, bars, shops or other venues if you're in an unfamiliar part of the world. Tap on any entry for more information about that place. 4. Filter the news feed

You don't have to settle for the standard news feed list of updates. The Facebook app gives you access to your customized lists from the main menu too. To change the list someone appears in, simply head to their profile and tap Friends > Edit Friend List.

If you want to add or remove any whole lists ('family' or 'best friends', for example), you'll need to do this from a computer. 5. Share from other apps

Sharing across apps is one of Android's great strengths, so make use of it: tap the Share button while you're viewing a photo gallery, web browser or anything else, and Facebook will appear as one of the options.

This is a great way of sharing something to your timeline without having to actually go into Facebook, and you still get all the usual status update options. 6. Stop videos from

autoplaying One of the most useful entries in the Facebook app settings isVideo Auto-play. It lets you turn autoplay on or off, or enable it when you're on a Wi-Fi connection only.

This will save on data usage while you're out and about, as well as stop your news feed turning into a dizzying list of looping cat clips and funny animations. 7. Save videos and links

for later So many friends to browse through, so little time in the day... luckily there's a solution to this problem. If you tap on the drop-down arrow next to a news feed post containing a video or link, you can save the content to come back to later.

Bookmarked content is kept under the Saved heading on the main app menu (tap See All under Apps if it isn't visible) so you can return to it at your leisure. 8. Check your account

security From inside the Facebook app, tap Account Settings, Security and Active Sessions — here you can see all of the places and devices associated with your Facebook account.

If you spot anything suspicious, click on the cross icon to log out from it. It's better to be safe than sorry: if you make a mistake and log out from one of your own devices or browsers, you can still log back in again. 9. Disable chat heads

Messenger is now a separate app on Android, and one of its most distinctive features is the way conversations appear as 'chat heads' above other apps on your device.

If you don't like this behavior, you can turn it off — tap the cog icon inside the Messenger app to access its settings, then tap Chat heads to enable or disable the feature and tweak the way it works. 10. Pick your favorite

friends Your list of online friends is accessible via a tap on the portrait icon in the top-right corner of the Facebook app.

Select Edit and you can bring the contacts you interact with most often to the top of the list, saving you the time and effort of hunting through the list to find your favorite friends. 11. Hide a friend's feed

Sometimes you may wish to stop seeing someone's updates without actually unfriending them or blocking them. You may wish to keep up the pretense that you are friends despite never wishing to see or hear from them again.

To do this, go to their page, tap on Following, then select Unfollow. They won't know it, but you'll never see their posts, or posts they are tagged in again. 12. Prioritize a friend's

feed If you want to do the opposite of above, you can choose to see a certain friend's posts before all others. Simply go to their page, tap Following, and then See First.

Any posts that this friend makes will jump to the top of the news feed so that you never miss them. 13. Use a lighter, third

party app The Facebook app is not only enormous, but it is also a resource hog. You can save space and memory by using an alternative app, such as Metal or Tinfoil, which are basically custom skins for the web version of Facebook. Metal is a bit prettier and offers more features, such as a notification tab, and floating window.

Otherwise, you can just add a shortcut to the Facebook website on your home screen and use that. In Chrome, you can also allow notifications from the site by heading to Settings > Site settings > Notifications and making sure they're turned on and unblocked for Facebook.

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