I don’t know about you, but I find Facebook’s Timeline a bit cluttered for my taste. It just doesn’t have the smoother look of the old format, even if the cover photo idea is kind of cool. As for searching for old posts, I have never had a reason to switch from year to year to see what I once posted. Maybe that is why I can’t appreciate it as much as some of my friends do.
But there is a lot more than just the profile interface that creates a cluttered look. Just the main page when you sign in is a little bit overwhelming these days. Posts from friends, status updates, pages you have liked…all of that is fine. What isn’t fine is being forced to see it every time they like a page, comment on a photo or post to someone who isn’t on your list.
When you get into those little extras, it starts to become aggravating. Especially with full pages of old notifications that stay around, old apps that have long since been abandoned, messages that end up in the ‘Other’ folder you probably never check and more. It makes you long for the simpler days of Friendster.
Luckily, it isn’t that hard to clear all this how and come out of it with a cleaner, more attractive Facebook account.
The first step is eliminating those constant emails when you get a status reply or anything else on your profile. Go to Account Settings > Notifications. On the right hand side you should see a section titled ‘Email Frequency’. Checking the box will allow you to limit the number of emails you get by bunching them all together into summary messages or important updates only.
While in the Notifications section, you can get rid of certain things that are often sending you requests. For example, you can remove apps or games so you don’t get updates. This is a simple way to start lessening the overall notifications you are receiving.
This is the most important thing you can do. Are you wanting to remain connected to a page, but you don’t want to get their constant updates on your feed? Just go to one of their updates on that feed and click on the little down pointing arrow. This will bring down a menu that gives you the option to either hide that post, or hide all posts. Once you select to hide them all, you will stop getting updates on your friend feed. But it won’t remove your like from the page itself.
You can also do this with your actual friends list. We all have that person who posts way too often, or is always getting game messages on their wall while playing Farmville. Just follow the same process as above and they will be none the wiser.
You cannot actually stop ads from showing up on the sidebar of your friend feed. This is the consequence of Facebook being free, and it is a minor inconvenience. Some of them are even helpful, and more than once I have found myself following those ads to interesting Facebook pages that I have really enjoyed.
But Facebook doesn’t always get it right. As many times as I have been given relevant ads to my interests, I have more often been given ads that are completely against my personal views. Views that are stated right on my profile.
That is when it is nice to be able to hit the little ‘x’ on the corner of the ad and hide it, or hide everything from the company/site/profile that posts it. It will give you a little survey that you don’t have to fill out, asking why you want it to be hidden. But I would suggest taking a second to answer the question. It will help them to better customize your ads in the future.
Customizing your Facebook is as easy as getting rid of all the clutter. From notifications to emails and the way you view your page, it is very simple to do it. Just take a couple of minutes and make your little space of the internet as welcoming as you like.