10 of the Most Useful Facebook Hacks Ever

From adding an extra layer of security to turning off the birthday notifs.

facebook hacks
PHOTO BY Shutterstock ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) From a social networking platform that lets you "poke" your friends to one where you most probably get your updates about anything and everything, Facebook has grown into the multi-billion tech giant that it is today. It’s been around for almost two decades, and loyal users have found ways to make the mobile app work for them—whether it’s adding security features or customizing the design to their liking.

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Are you always on this platform? Here are some Facebook hacks to up your social media game:

Turn off autoplay

We've all been there: You're scrolling your feed in the dead of the night, then you come across a video that plays the most awkward sound. Don't let that happen to you ever again by heading to Settings, then Videos, then set "Auto-Play Videos" to "Off." You can also make the default volume lower by choosing "Quiet" under "Video Default Volume" so that any video post starts off at a lower volume.

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Say goodbye to FB, but not FB Messenger

If you're getting tired of all the drama in your feed, you can go ahead and deactivate your FB account without having to lose your friends in the process. Maintain contact with them by keeping only your FB Messenger by signing in with your old e-mail address and password. If you don't have an FB account at all, you can still use the messaging app by creating one with just the necessary details—it doesn't even have to be a full-blown profile.

Never miss your favorite friend’s FB post

FB is now being used by business owners, marketers, and media outlets to promote their products: from cool scented candles to the news. But if you want to immediately see posts by your friends or a specific page (like SPOT.ph), you can tap on "Friends" then "Favorites" on your contact's profile or "Manage Follow Settings" then "Favorites" on a brand's page. This allows you not to miss their posts and lose their latest updates in your cluttered feed. You can also choose to "Snooze" someone for 30 days—a.k.a. Not see a certain friend’s posts—if you want to do the opposite.

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Download Facebook videos without additional apps

If you want to save that memorable video post from a friend, you don’t have to ask them to e-mail you the file. You can use sites like fbdownloader.net or fbdown.net, just make sure that the posts are on public mode. Otherwise, there must be a reason why the posts are private; and, therefore, shouldn’t be downloaded for security reasons.

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Change your Facebook theme

If you lived through the days of MySpace and Friendster, then you probably know a thing or two about customizing your page through HTML. Unfortunately, Facebook isn't as open-sourced as the social networking platforms of the old days so you can't really do much aside from turning on Dark Mode. But there's this nifty Chrome Extension called Facebook Theme Creator that lets you customize the background color, border color, and navigation tab of your FB profile page.

Keep your convos safe

FB has yet to roll out the Vanish Mode feature on Messenger in the Philippines, but you can take advantage of Secret Conversations, which has been around since 2016. The service offers end-to-end encryption and lets you create a new message that has an expiration time from five seconds to 24 hours. The timer on your end starts as soon as you hit send, then the message disappears. On the receiver's end, the timer starts after the message is read. Using the feature also alerts you when someone takes a screenshot of your message.

Add an extra layer of security

If you haven't set your two-factor authentication, then why? Hacking is pretty rampant nowadays. And with all the information, screencaps, and maybe even photographs of valid IDs on your account, Facebook is an identity thief's haven. To add an extra layer of security, all you have to do is go to Settings and Privacy, then tap on "Security and Login" under Account. Turn on your Two-Factor Authentication, and choose the security method you want to add: a text on your mobile when someone's trying to log in, a recovery code that you can hide for safekeeping, or an authentication app like Google Authenticator.

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Go invisible

With the rise of instant messaging, people now expect you to reply instantly when you're online or as soon as you read their message. You can easily go invisible just by turning off the active status on your Messenger settings. The downside is that you also won't know if your friends and contacts are active or recently online, but at least you can pretend you're off the grid even for a while.

Unfollow someone without unfriending them

We all have that family member who we'd rather unfriend on Facebook because of their annoying posts, but we really can't unless we want things to get awkward in the next Christmas reunion. If you want to prevent their updates from showing up frequently on your feed, you can just go to their page, click the “Friends” tab under their profile picture, and click on "Unfollow." You can also prevent them from seeing what you share by adding them to your "Restricted" list—just select "Edit Friends List" from the same "Friends" tab and choose "Restricted."

Stop with the birthdays

We know, we know. Facebook gave us this great gift that lets you out of having to remember everyone's birthday. It tells you every morning who among your friends are celebrating their special day through a barrage of notifications. But if you want it to stop, you can just go to "Notifications" on your Settings page, then disable notifications for "Birthdays."

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