Facebook Tricks To Avoid Unfriending

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

We’ve all got an annoying friend or two. And unfortunately, Facebook tends to magnify some of our pals’ less desirable traits, whether it be late night game playing (I do not care about your mafia, farm or town), incessant whining, or chronic oversharing. These friends are tolerable in real life, but sometimes seeing all their crazy rants in one long stream in your Newsfeed is just too much. But it’s rude to unfriend someone you had dinner with last weekend. So what to do?

Hide ‘em. Using a few Facebook Newsfeed tricks, you can weed out updates or people you’d rather not hear from, but can’t cut out completely by unfrieding. The best part? They’ll never even know! Unless, of course, they ask if you saw their most recent update. But that’s what a little white lie is for.

Hide Updates From Newsfeed Post

When you see a post you wish you hadn’t you can take steps to remove that friend’s updates from your feed right away. It’s simple and entirely untraceable to the offending friend. Here’s how to do it:

1. In the Newsfeed, hover over the top right corner of post from the friend you want to hide.

2. An arrow will appear. Click it, then select hide.

3. This will trigger a message telling you that the post has been hidden. From here you can opt to hide certain types of posts, or unfollow all together.

4. You’re done! No more annoying posts, and your friend is none the wiser.

Hide Updates From Profile

If your friend hasn’t posted in awhile or you can’t find a recent post, you can still remove them from your Newsfeed. Here’s how:

1. Navigate to your friend’s profile and hover over the “Friends” button.

2. An list of actions will appear. Un-check “show in Newsfeed.” Note: unfriend is also one of the options, so choose carefully.

3. Ta-da! You will not longer seen their posts in your feed.

Both methods are quick and easy. Hiding from the Newsfeed allows you a few more customization options. Currently you can hide individual stories from the Newsfeed on mobile, but you won’t have the ability to unfollow a user without logging into the full desktop version of Facebook. You can, however, opt to remove a friend from your Newsfeed via their profile in the mobile app. Looking to clean up your Facebook feed a bit more? Check out these other tips.

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Facebook “Likes” Create a Digital Fingerprint

Thursday, 14 March 2013

A recent study by the University of Cambridge found that you can gain a lot of information by looking at a user’s Facebook “likes.” And we’re not just talking about their favorite TV shows. Researchers analyzed 58,000 Facebook users and discovered that “intimate personal attributes can be predicted with high levels of accuracy from ‘traces’ left by seemingly innocuous digital behaviour, in this case Facebook Likes.”

What’s that mean for you? Maybe nothing. But there’s the possibility than an ambitious marketer could cross-reference the minutiae of your Facebook activity to determine, with a high level of accuracy, your political or religious affiliation. Not a big deal; many people share that information publicly, or at least with close friends. But what about your IQ, or if you are likely to have a substance abuse problem? You might not want advertisers (or anyone) to know you’re not the brightest bulb or are battling an addiction.

What Your “Likes” Say About You

Facebook has always been a hot topic for privacy guardians, but it turns out that the issue runs much deeper than apps requiring scores of personal data. Advertisers have long had access to your likes, but with the right analysis, they can gain insight into what you’re not saying or liking as well. For example, a wedding photographer can easily target women who like bridal magazine pages and recently changed their relationship status to engaged. But what if they can use other psychographic information to target women who have divorced parents and play to those emotions? Or determine wealth and gear ads toward individual budgets?

I’ve always been a huge fan of Facebook and use the site both for work and fun, but not everyone understands what they are getting into when they sign up. Facebook is designed to make you want to share about yourself in order to connect with friends more easily, particularly with the new Graph Search rolling out widely. But the real reason Facebook wants you to share is to make money off of you from advertisers.

Reading Between The “Likes”

Does that mean you shouldn’t “like” that movie you just saw? No. But tread carefully, and watch the ads that follow you around. You might be surprised at what you see. Because if Target can determine pregnancy before a doctor, what will Facebook learn before you do?

Above are 3 ads I was targeted with recently: a shopping site showing workout wear,  a Vegas hotel, and 1-800-contacts. I have been training for a race and buying workout clothes recently, and I frequently visit Vegas hotel pages for research and like quite a few of them. But I have no idea how Facebook knows I wear contact lenses. There is nothing in my profile mentioning glasses or contacts.

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