Facebook is always optimizing its service, coming up with all sorts of new features and gradually releasing them to the users. Unless you make a point out of following these kinds of things, you probably aren’t keeping up with all the changes.
New Facebook Changes
So to help you stay informed we’ve put together this list of the most improvements Facebook has rolled out recently:
1. You can now customize what appears in your News Feed
Your News Feed can get pretty crowded sometimes, especially if you’re the kind of person who has many friends and has ‘liked’ a lot of things.
Still, everybody has a certain group of people and pages that they want to follow before anything else, which is exactly what the newly-introduced News Feed Preferences feature allows you to do.
This means you can now prioritize your most significant friends (by “starring” them with a simple tap), and in this way making sure updates from them appear first. You can also unfollow acquaintances “in bulk,” thus remaining friends but avoiding their posts, which is a great way to clean up you feed without resorting to the “nuclear option” of unfriending.
Already available in the iOS app, this feature has started rolling out to Android users as well and will be fully available on all platforms in the near future.
2. You can add a legacy Contact to handle your account after you die
This isn’t exactly a fun thing to talk about, but it is nevertheless a real issue: what happens to your Facebook account in case you die? To address this, Facebook has added the ability to select a so-called Legacy Contact, which is in a way similar to a person who handles your estate after you pass away.
Your Legacy Contact will be able to change the profile and cover photos, respond to friend requests, and write a post at the top of your timeline, only they will be doing that as themselves, on your behalf – it will be clear to everyone that it’s not you doing the posting.
You don’t actually have to set a Legacy Contact, but getting access to a deceased person’s account is a laborious process your family and/or friends should have to go through, so it’s a good idea to use this feature as it becomes available.
3. Reminisce with the On This Day feature
Facebook has been around for quite some time now, and if you’ve been a user for a few years, chances are many important moments in your life have been marked on the website, in one way or another.
Whether it’s a picture you shared, a song that marked a significant moment, or a comment you made for a special occasion, it’s all there, part of your recent history.
Now Facebook gives you easy access to these events with its On This Day feature. Every day, you can visit facebook.com/OnThisDay to see your activity on that particular day in the past. Also, you can activate the notification for this feature and be reminded of events automatically – a real treat for the nostalgic person.
4. You can create a private, controlled scrapbook of your child’s pictures
While most of us have a lot of the past few years on Facebook, young children might have their entire lives up until now recorded on the social networking site, thanks to their parents.
Now, Facebook has added the Scrapbook feature, which allows adults to set up a digital scrapbook only they can control, thus ensuring an appropriate level of privacy for their family.
Parents are the only people who can tag the baby in photos and can choose whatever name they want for him or her to appear publicly (it can be the child’s real name, or something like “the baby”). They can also customize the privacy settings for the scrapbook and will be notified whenever a picture has been set to “Public.”
5. Messenger goes stand-alone and adds video calls
Facebook has been promoting its Messenger app pretty aggressively, at one point disabling the service on its main app, which meant that it was only available as an extra app.
Now, the company thinks Messenger is big enough to stand on its own, so they have released it as an independent service that doesn’t even require users to have a Facebook account anymore!
In addition to this, Facebook Messenger will also start offering video calls, making it a serious competitor to Skype and Google Hangouts.
6. A more streamlined experience with Facebook Lite
A lot of people have Facebook mostly to keep in touch with friends using the Messenger app and since now you can have one without the other, you might think a less resource-intensive version would suit your needs better.
This is where Facebook Lite comes in, an app which takes up less disk space and needs fewer resources to run, making it perfect for people using older phones with smaller memories and less powerful hardware.