Facebook is the most popular of all the social media websites and applications available.  According to it’s own figures, over one billion people worldwide are active members of the site.  If you have just joined Facebook and you don’t yet know your way around the site or understand all the main features and language used on the site then this blog post hopes to make this a little clearer.  

The image above is a typical view you will see when you first log into your Facebook account.  This page is known as your ‘home screen’.  

The blue bar along the top of your browser screen allows you to navigate between your home screen, personal Facebook page,any pending friend requests (1), private messages (2) and notifications (3).

Friend requests

The icon should look like two people standing together and this part of the site shows any pending friend requests you have received and the status of any you have sent out to others.  You can search for people you may know by typing their name in the search box at the very top of the page.  If you see someone you would like to connect, and become friends with, you can send them a friend request. 

Private messages

Facebook allows you to send and receive private messages (like emails) and these can be opened by clicking on the icon number 2.


Notifications could include any comments posted by friends on a post/photo or video you have shared, any ‘likes’ you have received for comments or other posts you have made or any new posts made on any groups you are members of or pages you have liked.  

From time to time you will see a little red number appear beside one of these.  This number relates to the number of new messages/updates you have received since you last checked.  Periodically you will also see numbers appear beside the ‘Home’ button on the blue bar.  This number tells you how many new posts your friends, pages you have liked or groups you have joined have made since you last looked at the home page.


The section down the middle is the newsfeed and this is where all the new posts, photos, videos and comments from your friends will appear.  The next section to the right is where Facebook displays adverts for Facebook groups and pages.  The final column on the far right tells you who out of your friends is currently online and using Facebook's instant messenger or chat function. Facebook will automatically assume you wish for your friends to see that you are online.  If you want to disable this click ‘turn off chat’ located in the bottom box (labeled Facebook messenger in the picture above).

This image shows  how your personal Facebook page will look.  You can get to your own page by clicking where the your name appears in the top blue bar.

Profile Picture and Facebook Cover

The square box on the top, left of the page is where a person would upload a personal profile picture and the strip along the top of the page is the persons ‘cover’ and this can be personalised like the profile picture.

Under the cover image are 5 tabs: ‘Timeline’, ‘About’, ‘Friends’, ‘Photos’ and ‘More’.


The timeline is the name Facebook gives to the stream of posts and status changes you have made on your own page.  This is the screen currently showing and the default screen that appears when you visit a personal page.  


Next to the timeline tab is the about section.  This is where you can add in information such as your marital status, religious beliefs,  and political affiliations.  You can also add in your job role and the name of the organisation you work for, where you studied, your hometown and where you are originally from.  An abbreviated version of this information can also be seen in the box titled ‘Intro’.


If you click on the ‘Friends’ tab all of the friends you have on Facebook will appear.  A small section of these will also appear on your personal page below the box marked photos.  This can not be seen on the picture below.


The photos tab is where all the pictures you have uploaded will appear.  You have the option of creating albums which are folders in which you can group photos.  Any pictures that your friends have tagged you in will also appear here and so will any pictures you have used as profile pictures.


The tab marked ‘More’ is a drop down menu for any apps you may have added to your Facebook page or other social media accounts that you may have linked to your Facebook page, such as Twitter or Instagram. This section also allows you to add films and books that you’ve liked, places you have visited and ‘checked in’.  

Checking in

Checking in is a feature on Facebook where you can update your status and share with people where you are at that time.  Most businesses are stored within the directory on Facebook so if you were visiting a coffee shops or pub you can share this with people by ‘checking in’.

If you would like a printable version of this blog post then head over to the worksheets section and you can download and print it from there.