Facebook Tutorial for New Users

By: Jenney Cheever

This Facebook tutorial is the place to start if you're ready to join the ranks of Facebook's 200 million users, but aren't sure where to begin. In order to join this popular social networking site, you need to be at least 13 years old and have a valid e-mail address. Once you've got those two things covered, you're ready to begin.

Sign up.

The first step is to sign up and create your basic profile. Begin by going to You will see a form in which to type your name, e-mail address and the password of your choice. Select your gender and birth date. Next you will be asked to type in a code, and then you will be sent a confirmation e-mail that you must repsond to in order to activate your account. These last two steps help prevent spammers from setting up bogus pages.

Create your profile.

Click through the link in your confirmation e-mail. You will be offered the chance to check your e-mail address book for friends, and then you can begin creating your profile. This is a simple as filling in the blanks, providing as much or as little information as you would like. Most people choose to upload a photo to their profile, as well. Facebook allows you to add your photo either from your computer, your digital camera or your webcam. You can also link to photos that are stored through online services like Flickr.

Update your Status.

On your Home page, you'll see a little text box next to the words, "What's on your mind?" This is your Status, and you can update it as often as you like. You only get a few words to express yourself, but you can add links and photos to your updates. Each time you update your Status, it can be read by all of your friends.

Add more friends.

After you've got your basic profile set up, it's time to add more friends. After you've completed the profile steps, you'll be given the chance to join Networks based on your city, your school or your place of employment. Joining a network helps you connect with others who are part of the same network. Other ways to find friends on facebook are by sending e-mail invitations, by doing a classmate search, through friend recommendations from other friends or through possible friends suggested by Facebook. Unlike MySpace, which allows anyone and anyone to become friends with total strangers, Facebook encourages users to friend individuals with whom they also have some kind of real-world connection.

Join Groups.

There are groups on Facebook for every imaginable interest, hobby, cause or activity. You'll find groups of sports fans, music fans, advocates for various causes and groups just for fun. By joining a group, you can interact with people who share your interests. You can also start one of your own.

The Guelph/Wellington Seniors Association has a Facebook Group. Please join us here...

Let the Fun Begin.

Once you've got a profile and friends, you can begin adding applications. Facebook's applications are created by developers all over the world for the Facebook platform, so there is something for everyone. You'll find games, networking tools and lots of other fun ways to interact with your friends. Because the applications are created outside of Facebook, the variety of applications available is huge, and new ones are being created all the time. In order to add an application, just click on the one you'd like to add, and click to give it permission to access your profile. You may also get invitations from friends to add applications that they enjoy.

Once you use Facebook, you will find it's actually pretty easy to navigate. Most tasks are self-explanatory, and you'll soon find you'll be Facebooking like a pro.