10 Facebook tips for power users

Thought you knew everything about Facebook, didn’t you? Here is how to take your Facebook account to the next level.

So you signed up for Facebook, added friends and photos, joined a few groups, and updated your profile status. But now what? Isn't there more to Facebook? There is.

Here are ten tips to tweak your profile and get more out of Facebook. These tips go beyond the typical and include ways to stay better connected to your friends and look good doing it. To compile this list I searched high and low and even called on Facebook for the best tips. Most are easy to do and all will add some Facebook pizzazz to your profile.

Tip One

Dig up demographic dirt on your friends with Socialistics : If you want to know the demographic breakdown on your Facebook universe of friends, this application does a nice job at breaking it down. Socialistics can show you information about your friends' ages, the languages they speak, their country of origin, and lots of other interesting information all within Facebook.

Socialistics data does not show up on your profile pages and you are not able to share Socialistics information with your Facebook Friends through your wall. However, if you want to take a look at the trends for your personal network, then add Socialistics to your profile and you can access it privately.

Tip Two

Power search tips : Just like Google and other search engines, Facebook has some built-in power search tools and terms to help you find people. Want to search your Facebook network or friends list, but you want to narrow the results to fall within an age range? Just enter a term using the "name," "y1" and "y2" search filters. For example, I wanted to find my buddy Colin from college, but I can’t remember how old he is. To find him I just entered in “name: Colin Bauer y1: 25 y2: 40” and voila! The search string asked Facebook to look for people named Colin Bauer between the ages of 25 and 40.

You can also use two search terms at once by dividing the terms with the "pipe character" (|) (the pipe is found on the same key as the backslash).

If you want people to easily find you when they search, fill out your profile as much as you can. That way your profile interests -- music, books, movies and so on -- will move you closer to the top of Facebook search results for those keywords. Check out Facebook's help page for more handy search terms.

Tip Three

Integrate Facebook information with Gmail : The Firefox add-on called Xoopit is designed to streamline browsing and sharing of files, photos, and videos with friends on other social networks via Google's Gmail service. One of Xoopit's handy features (seldom touted) let's you see who among your e-mail contacts is a Facebook member and displays their profile photos, status updates. The Xoopit add-on also lets you update your status inside Gmail via a nifty little Xoopit box that integrates into the Gmail interface.

Here is a Xoopit video that walks you through how it works:

Xoopit Facebook Demo from Jonathan Bruck on Vimeo

Tip Four

Personalize your Facebook URL : SocialToo allows you to create a custom domain for your Facebook profile page such as username.socialtoo.com. This allows you to share your Facebook site with other people without requiring them to search for you on Facebook to find your profile. Granted, you might have to explain to your friends that even though Facebook.com isn't in the Web address it's still takes you to your Facebook page. The domain is much easier to remember than an eight-digit profile ID.

Signing up with SocialToo is quick and free. You can set up your Facebook settings under “preferences” on SocialToo’s Website. Just remember to choose your SocialToo username wisely.

Another way to create a custom domain for your Facebook page is go to your Profile page in facebook and copy the Web address that appears in your browsers address bar. Then head over to Tiny.cc. Now paste your Facebook profile Web address in the Tiny.cc's "Enter a long URL you want to make tiny" form field. And directly to the right you'll see a Custom option. Here you can create a custom URL that follows the convention http://tiny.cc/username.

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Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
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