Facebook Basics: Manage Your Profile, News Feed, and More

Understand and work with Facebook's core concepts

Facebook is the undisputed social media site leader, with more than 2.7 billion users worldwide. Still, there's a bit of a learning curve when you're just getting started sharing, posting, liking, and using other Facebook features. Here's a look at Facebook's key elements, including your Facebook Profile page, Home page, and News Feed, and how to use them.

Facebook mobile app on a News Feed post
flickr Editorial/Getty Images / Getty Images

Facebook's Key Features and What They Do

These terms represent Facebook's core concepts:

Friends

Facebook friends are the people you've connected with after you've accepted each other's friend requests. It's easy to search for friends and people you know using Facebook's search engine, and Facebook will often suggest potential friends based on your current relationships. After you've added friends, they'll show up in your Friends list.

Facebook Friends page

Facebook Share Box

When you open up Facebook on your home page, you'll see a text box that says, "What's on your mind [your name]?" This is called the Share box, and it's where you'll type your status update or thoughts and upload photos.

Share thoughts and status updates in Facebook's Share Box

Home Page and News Feed

Your Facebook Home page displays your News Feed. Your News Feed page is where you can see and scroll through anything posted by the people and business Pages you follow. The News Feed is where you arrive when you log in to Facebook; access it anytime by selecting the house-shaped Home icon on the top of the page if you're using Facebook on the desktop; on the mobile app, you'll see the Home icon on the bottom menu.

Facebook with Home icon highlighted

Profile Page

Your Profile page is where you'll arrive after selecting your name and image from the top right on the desktop or by selecting Menu > See Your Profile on the Facebook mobile app.

Your Profile page contains your profile picture and a cover photo, biographical information you can add or edit at any time, and a scrollable list of posts you've made or posts in which you've been tagged.

The Profile is where you can edit your About information, view your friends and photos, and manage your posts. Facebook has undergone a few redesigns over the years, and this page has been called the "Wall" or the "Timeline" in the past.

Other users may navigate to your Profile page to find out more about you, and you have the option of making your Profile page information available to anyone on Facebook to see or to keep your Profile visible only to your Facebook friends.

Facebook profile page example

How Your News Feed and Profile Page Differ

Your News Feed and Profile page are where you'll likely spend the most time on Facebook. The News Feed is about your friends and what they're doing, while your Profile page is about you and the information you're OK with sharing.

Your News Feed page is a stream of continually updated information from your friends and any Groups or Facebook Pages you follow. What you see is unique to you because it centers around the people and organizations you're interested in.

News Feed Viewing Options

You have some control over how your News Feed presents posts to you. You can prioritize certain posts, snooze people who may currently be annoying you, unfollow people, and reconnect with people you've previously unfollowed.

Here's how to manage News Feed viewing options:

From Facebook on the Desktop

If you're using Facebook via a web browser on your computer, you'll access your account settings to control News Feed viewing options.

  1. From your News Feed page or Profile page, select Account (upside-down triangle) from the top right.

    From your News Feed page or Profile page, select Account (upside-down triangle) from the top right.
  2. Select Settings & Privacy.

    Select Settings & Privacy.
  3. Select News Feed Preferences.

    Facebook Settings with News Feed Preferences highlighted
  4. Select Manage Favorites to see posts from certain people higher in your newsfeed; select Unfollow to remove posts from your newsfeed from people or Pages you choose; select Reconnect to see posts from people you previously unfollowed; or select Snooze to take a 30-day break from seeing someone's posts.

    Manage your News Feed Preferences

    To manage News Feed settings using the Facebook mobile app, select More (three lines), and then go to Settings & Privacy > Settings > News Feed Preferences.