What is Facebook?

Facebook is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues. The site, which is available in 37 different languages, includes public features such as:

Marketplace - allows members to post, read and respond to classified ads.

Groups - allows members who have common interests to find each other and interact.

Events - allows members to publicise an event, invite guests and track who plans to attend.

Pages - allows members to create and promote a public page built around a specific topic.

Presence Technology - allows members to see which contacts are online and chat.

Using Facebook

Be a little wary about the information you share on Facebook. If you display your town, date of birth, marital status and other personal facts, someone might be able to get enough information to steal your identity (it’s unlikely, but be careful).

You might want to go into your profile page (it’s easy to find once you’ve signed up, there’s a tab on the homepage) and make sure you’re not sharing all of your information with everyone who happens to log on. Soon you’ll be in touch with a lot of people, exchanging views and information on your page (or ’wall’ as Facebook calls it) and vice versa. If your friends are online when you log on, you’ll find a list of them to one side of the screen and you can send instant messages.

You can also put pictures of yourself up. You can join groups of people with similar interests, you can join Facebook groups and chat to like-minded people about them. It all starts with a simple sign-up to the most basic stuff, which enables you to make announcements and engage with people online.

Catching up with old friends, making new ones, sharing an interest with a group of people or sharing your photos with someone the other side of the world - it’s only as limited as you want to make it.