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Realtor tech tip: Facebook hacks that help those frustrated with new changes

Given the sheer size of Facebook, any updates to functionality are likely to upset two camps- fans and those that don’t like change. The way images render has changed, ads are popping up in new places, hitting “enter” submits your update instead of hitting a submit button and privacy settings have changed over time.

Product developers know that changes to a product, no matter how small, will upset a core group of users. The difference between a soap formula and a website is the ability to hack your way back to the way it was before changes. Below are some common Facebook hacks.

My pet peeve: how pictures now render

A pop up within Facebook? On a black lightbox? Another ad served to me? The inability to right click and save a picture? Seriously? Grr. This feature alone caused me to seek out my own hacks and thank goodness others are annoyed too.

Enter the Google Chrome browser extension, “Revert Photo Viewer” which puts it back to the way it was- white background and a page on its own. Just the way I like it.

Pressing “enter” submits updates

I personally love that on Facebook, when you hit enter, your update is posted- it’s a huge time saver for me and seems much more intuitive, but people are pissed about not having that old submit button.

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For those annoyed by this feature, you should know that you have to hit “Shift+Enter” at the same time to start a new line. It’s a classic hack for many software programs and one that you should get in the habit of using if you don’t want what you’re saying to be submitted, rather you want a line break.

News feed doesn’t show everyone anymore!

This one is a big shock to a lot of people who feel that people have abandoned Facebook and one I get asked about all the time. Facebook changed your news feed to feature only the people you most frequently interact with. Some love it because they really are only there to talk to their 10 best friends and don’t care about MeMaw’s Farmville while others (like me) want an overview of what everyone is doing at a glance.

To change it back so you can see all of your friends’ updates, click the triangle next to “Most Recent” on top of your news feed, select “Edit Options” and in the gray dropdown menu, select “All of your friends and pages” then save your changes. Voila!

New privacy options

Although the uproar over privacy is nothing new, there are two tricks you can do to get around some of the privacy issues.

First of all, with the “Facebook Disconnect” Google Chrome browser extension, you can stop Facebook from tracking the webpages you go to. Many applications don’t work on Facebook if you don’t grant permission to track, so this is one way around that. Keep your curtains drawn close, you know?

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Secondly, for those of you that are hardcore (me excluded), check out the “Facebook Ad Block” Chrome extension which is pretty self explanatory. I don’t use this one because I actually like ads, I’m a marketing geek. But there are many of you who love the idea of an ad-free Facebook experience.

Which will you use?

Do any of these hacks have your name on them? There are literally hundreds of Facebook tricks and hacks, these are just the ones we tell people about the most- share yours with us in the comments!

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Kelly Grothe

    March 18, 2011 at 10:32 am

    When you are looking at a photo you can also refresh the page to get back to the old view 🙂

    • Lani Rosales

      March 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      Kelly, it doesn’t always work on Chrome 🙁 that *was* the hack I used but it figured me out….

      • Wayne Harriman

        March 19, 2011 at 9:59 am

        F5 works every time for me on RockMelt, which is Chrome-based.

  2. Juan Carlos

    March 18, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Shift-enter! Thank you for that!

    I actually like the new photo viewing lightbox, but you know why 🙂

    • Lani Rosales

      March 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      Oh my photographer friend, you WOULD like it. 😉 #blacklightbox

  3. Liz Benitez

    March 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Maybe I missed it but I didn’t see the hack for “The inability to right click and save a picture” 🙂 that one gets under my skin. Although I am fine with peeps not being able to save my pictures.

    • Lani Rosales

      March 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      Hey Liz, if you use the Google Chrome “revert” extension, you’ll be able to see pics like you used to at which time you can right click to save. 🙂

      • Mike Salway

        March 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm

        With the new photo viewer, there’s a “Download” link down the left bottom corner – that’s how you download photos 🙂

  4. Joe Loomer

    March 19, 2011 at 8:45 am

    These are all great tips, Lani – but what I really, really need is to get the events function to allow me to invite all the people on a friends list with one click. The “select all” function has dissapeared and all i can find in the help menus talks about groups, not lists. I create and publish at least four-five events per week and now I have to go through the time to invite each of the 800-plus agents in our area that are in my realtor list, for example.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

    • Lani Rosales

      March 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      Joe, Facebook has made several attempts just like Twitter to disallow bulk activity to keep the system more human and less automated, but you’re right, the “select all” button should come back!

  5. Jason fox

    March 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    The automatic edge ranking kinda freaked me out. It was like one day all of my friends disowned me :(. I get the idea of edge, and as a marketer its very important that we understand it, but I personally dont want Facebook or anybody else telling me which of my friends I should interact with. My profile is set to All. Nice post.

    • Lani Rosales

      March 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      I AGREE, Jason. They shouldn’t default behaviors like this, they should make you choose which you want. Average users think they’ve been abandoned. Great idea, horrible execution.

  6. Carole Sanek

    March 21, 2011 at 10:35 am

    For those who accidentally post by hitting enter all you have to do is remove your remark it will come back to you and you can edit it or keep on writing. Cool beans.

  7. Missy Caulk

    September 21, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Perhaps you should update this today since there is a hol lotta whining going on over there today.

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