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Facebook for Android: our favorite tips and tricks

Update: Find Wi-Fi feature now available worldwide

It's the world's biggest social network — with over 1.5 billion users to its name — but even if you spend a lot of time inside the Facebook 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 - including how to Find Wi-Fi!

Highlight recent changes

Whether you're running Facebook on a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or a trusty Google Pixel, 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.

Manage your notifications

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, comments, friend requests, photo tags, event invites and more.

androidpit facebook alerts
Get those notifications under control. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

androidpit facebook nearby places
Get a map of the neighborhood. / © ANDROIDPIT

Filter your 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.

androidpit facebook family
Use lists to filter your friends and family. / © ANDROIDPIT

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. 

androidpit facebook sharing
Android makes sharing straightforward. / © ANDROIDPIT

Stop videos from autoplaying

One of the most useful entries in the Facebook app settings is Video Auto-play. It lets you turn autoplay on or off, or enable it when you're on a WiFi 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.

androidpit facebook video autoplay
Take control over video auto-play in your news feed. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

androidpit facebook save video
Save videos and links for later. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

androidpit facebook account security
Check that you recognize all the sessions. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

androidpit facebook friends
Keep your favorite friends close to hand. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.  

androidpit facebook tips saved friends feed unfollow
Don't want to see a mate's posts? Hit Unfollow. / © ANDROIDPIT

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. 

androidpit facebook tips saved friends feed follow
See what your closest friend has been up to before all the other posts. / © ANDROIDPIT

Use a lighter, third-party app to save memory

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. There is also an official Facebook Lite app.

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.

AndroidPIT Tinfoil for Facebook Chrome shortcut
Add a shortcut to your home screen or use a custom wrapper to save on space and RAM. / © ANDROIDPIT

Find Wi-Fi

Facebook has just rolled out its new feature to help users locate the nearest Wi-Fi hotspots globally. A Facebook spokesperson said, “To help people stay connected with their communities and find experiences around them, we're rolling out a feature to help find wi-fi near you. We've been testing this feature and received great feedback that it's not only helpful for people when traveling, but is especially useful in areas with poor mobile network connectivity.”

Here's how to use the feature: Within the Facebook app (on Android or iOS), tap the More tab (the three lines icon on the top right) and then Find Wi-Fi. Once you have the Find Wi-Fi tab open, turn it on. Then you can see all available hotspots near your location on a map, plus information like opening times for the businesses hosting them.

What are your favorite tips for Facebook for Android? Tell us your top tricks in the comments.  

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