Just about everyone else has a Facebook account now, so why shouldn’t you? Facebook lets you connect with loved ones at a distance, track down old friends and boost Internet presence for your business. When you are ready to make the leap into the world’s biggest social network, start with opening a free account.
UPDATE: Please see the newer, up-to-date guide on how to get a Facebook account with pictures, step-by-step.
Get a Facebook Account
Getting a Facebook account is a lot like registering for a new account on other membership websites. You need to have an email address and create a password.
- Launch your Web browser and type ‘facebook.com’ in the address bar. (That’s the long white bar that has the ‘http’ on it.) Look under Sign Up.
- Enter your first and last names, email address, a password of your choosing.
- Indicate your gender and month, day and year of birth by clicking the lists and selecting the appropriate choices.
- Click the green Sign Up button.
- Type the words you see in the Captcha box in the input box below it, so Facebook can verify you are a human, not a computer program (or a cat, or dog or bug). If you cannot make out the words, click ‘Try different words’ to generate new Captcha words or click ‘audio Captcha.’
- Click Sign Up to complete the registration process. Facebook will take you to the Add Friends page.
- Click the Add Friend button if you see anyone you know and want to be friends with on Facebook. Otherwise click Skip this step.
- Click Skip this step when Facebook asks ‘Are your friends already on Facebook?’ and offers to link your email account to its system. You would have to you give your email user name and password, so decline unless this is not a concern for you.
- Enter your high school, college and current employer information on the Profile Information step and click Save & Continue, or click Skip.
- Click Upload a Photo or Take a Photo when you arrive at the Profile Picture step. You can upload a picture up to 4MB in size. Continue or skip as before.
- Complete your profile information and other details or return to your account later.
Note: It’s hard to fool the Facebook sign up system. If your email address does not match in the two boxes required, it will let you know. If you enter a name that has repetitive characters (such as “xxxxx”) it will know. Even your name could be disapproved by the system if it does not sound like a real name. Also your password must be at least 6 characters long.
Add a Picture to Your Facebook Profile
You can use Facebook even without a picture. But what is a Facebook account without a face?
To use a photo on your computer as your profile picture:
- Go to the Home page while logged in to Facebook.
- Point the mouse cursor over the upper right corner of the profile picture box. Click Change Picture.
- Click Browse.and select a picture on your computer.
- Tick the check box to verify your ownership and the legitimacy of the photo.
- Click Upload.
To take a new picture with your web cam and use it:
- Follow steps 1 and 2 above.
- Click Take a Picture.
- Choose Allow and click Close.
- Click the web cam icon to take a picture.
- Click Save Picture to set the photo as your profile image.
Create a Facebook Profile
Most of the Profile Information sections are self-explanatory. The details you enter will help others find you. At the same time, you do not need to enter everything. You can add as much or as little as you like.
You can control who sees what as well as other settings by going to ‘Account Settings’ and ‘Privacy Settings’ under ‘Account.’
- Basic Information. Here go your current place of residence, hometown, gender and birth date (both of which you can show or hide), which connections you want (men or women?), languages you know and an about section. Say a few things about yourself in the ‘About’ part.
- Featured People. Use this section to set your social status, and cite family members and friends. There are about a dozen possible choices for your status, from ‘single’ to ‘it’s complicated.’ If you add people who are already on your Facebook friends list, there will be links to their profiles.
- Education and Work. Enter here your high school, university and employment details.
- Philosophy. If you want to share your political and religious views, do so here. Everyone has favorite quotes, and you can add them here too.
- Arts & Entertainment, Sports and Activities & Interests. All these sections let people know what your likes and interests are, such as favorite books, movies and TV shows; sports and sports teams; and hobbies and crafts.
- Contact Information. You want to put at least a few points of contact here. Besides your street address (which you might not want to post in full), you can add your phone number, email, instant messaging screen name and website.
Get a Facebook URL
Ever wondered how other people could have that cool-looking Facebook URL instead of the Facebook domain and a long sequence of numbers? You can get a unique Facebook user name that will appear in your profile URL.
- Verify your Facebook account. To verify your account, you may need to use your mobile phone. Follow instructions at the Facebook Mobile page.
- Go to http://www.facebook.com/username. Select a name that Facebook suggests or create your own. Make sure it is available.
- Click Confirm.
Choose your Facebook URL wisely. You cannot change it once you claim it!
Get a New Facebook Layout or Skin
You cannot change the theme directly in Facebook. But there are ways to change Facebook layouts even though the site does not allow users to add code or scripts to their pages.
Get Multiple Facebook Accounts
Facebook expressly prohibits the creation of multiple user profiles by the same individual. You are not allowed even to open an account on behalf of someone else without their permission. Furthermore, when you open a Facebook account (the only one) you are required to submit factual details only, such as your real name. See Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
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