What Is Facebook and How Does It Work?

By Corbin HartwickUpdated on February 21, 2018

You've probably heard of the name "Facebook" at least once, and maybe even heard it referred to as a "social network" or in reference to "social media". But what does it all mean? What is Facebook, and what do you actually do with it?

So, what exactly is Facebook?

Created in 2004, Facebook is what is known as a "social network". It's an online community set up to facilitate people finding and forming friendships with each other through an exchange of different content. Facebook is one of the biggest social networks because of how much you can do with it.

How Facebook works: Its 8 most popular features

1. Find people to connect with in a variety of different ways

Facebook gives you lots of options for connecting with people you know. You can find people to become "friends" with on Facebook based on where you live (or lived), where you go (or went) to school, where you work (or worked), or even who else you are friends with. Even some of your frequent email contacts might be on Facebook already!

2. Get the latest updates from top brands and celebrities

Facebook also allows you to follow posts from your favourite corporate and pop culture icons, including actors, athletes, bands, clothing companies, car manufacturers, television channels, and so on. Plus, you can also see what's making headlines in sports, politics, science, entertainment, and more.

Techboomers has a page on Facebook, too… click here to come say hi!

3. Share news with your connections through text, pictures, videos, and more

You can let your Facebook "friends" know what you're up to with photos of your cute grandchildren or pets, something interesting that you've overheard or found on the Internet recently, or a video of a memorable activity that you did on your most recent vacation.

4. Keep the discussion going with "likes" and comments

When you see news from your friends or the people or brands that you follow, you can "like" what they post to show your appreciation for it, comment on how it makes you feel, or even share it with your other friends.

5. Use chat and messaging features to talk to people directly

Sometimes, you only want specific people to hear or see what you have to share. That's when you can use Facebook's internal email system to send private messages to people, or use the "chat" function to swap text messages and other content with one or more of your friends at once.

6. Get some face time with video chat

Why just sent text messages, pictures, and videos back and forth to communicate with your Facebook friends when you can talk to them face-to-face? Similar to Skype, if you have a miniature camcorder (known as a "webcam") attached to your computer, and your friends do as well, then you can use the "video chat" feature to start a conversation in real time!

7. Join groups of people who enjoy the same things that you do

You can join "groups" on Facebook that are focused on a particular activity or theme. Then, you can post content and discussions that can be seen and contributed to by all group members. Some groups are open to the public, while others require you to be invited in order to join and see them.

8. Organize events in real life

Use Facebook's to set up an event with the time, date, and other details. Then, send out invitations to your friends, and have them reply as "going", "not going", or "maybe". No "phone tag" or mailing out RSVPs necessary!

There’s much more to discover with Facebook, so if it sounds like something that you’d be interested in, keep working your way through the Facebook course on TechBoomers.com by following step-by-step text and video tutorials on how to use it.