Welcome to Facebook! You have (finally) decided to join the network that currently boasts over 1.5 billion users. Since its creation in 2004, Facebook has become one of the go-to social media platforms for myriad reasons. Most importantly, the versatile platform has gained critical mass and there is a good probability that the majority of people you know already have an active account. Due to its ubiquity, Facebook has become a powerful tool to connect with people whom you already know, people you used to know, and even people you would like to know. So let’s get started!
When you land on the Facebook homepage you will be greeted with this screen:
Signing up for the account is fairly straightforward and only requires some basic information. Gone are the olden days of having outlandish MySpace user names. Facebook encourages everyone to use their proper name when signing up in order to create a transparent community. It is in fact a violation of their terms and conditions to use a fake name or alias. In addition to providing your real name, you must also provide your mobile number or email for account verification purposes. This information will not be included in your public profile unless you would like it to be. You will also be required to enter your birthday so that Facebook will be able to better tailor your experience to your age range.
After finishing up your info and hitting the “sign up” button you will be taken to this screen:
As previously mentioned, one of the main reasons people join Facebook is to connect with friends all over the world. Facebook tries to make finding your friends as intuitive as possible by searching your email contacts so you don’t have to search for those people individually. This step is completely optional but will certainly expedite the process of finding your friends on the platform. If you do chose to skip this step, you will be redirected to this screen:
The first step here is asking again if you would like to import your email contacts to search for friends. The second step gives you a brief privacy tour of Facebook which includes how to control who can see what you post and what third parties can access your information. For more information on Facebook privacy, click the lock icon on the top-right part of your homepage:
The next step is to upload a profile picture so people can easily tell that you are indeed who you say you are. On Facebook, you can choose to upload every picture you’ve ever taken or none at all! It is then possible to split your photos into albums, each with different privacy settings.
The last step provided to you in the basic setup of your Facebook account is to further grow your list of friends. This can be done by searching for people by name or email. Generally, once you have a few friends it becomes easier to search for additional friends because Facebook has a neat feature that will recommend new friends to you. These people will be recommended to you based on the number of mutual friends you have with them. Additionally, once you add more in-depth personal information to your profile, (i.e. school, workplace, place of birth) Facebook will recommend friends based on this info.
One important final step in the process of creating your profile is to verify your account. Verifying the account ensures that you did not provide false information in the sign up. This will be done either through the email or mobile number you provided when you signed up. After your account is verified, you can start to enjoy all that Facebook has to offer!