Facebook tip – Control your Notifications

Did you know you can control when Facebook sends you an e-mail notification? This can be helpful depending on how you use Facebook, how many friends you have and how often you log in.

1/8/2012:  This information has changed since writing this post.  I have explained the new Facebook e-mail notification settings here.  The screenshots below are no longer accurate and some of the choices are different.

What are Notifications?

Notifications are messages that Facebook sends you when there has been some activity associated with your profile.  The notifications are shown within Facebook, at the top of the page next to the Facebook logo.  You’ll see a little red indicator, and then click it for the notification.  These could be a friend request, inbox message or a general notification.  This screenshot shows a Friend Request notification.

Screenshot showing a Facebook notification

E-mail notifications

In addition to the notification in Facebook, an e-mail will be sent to you, depending on your notification settings.  For example you may be getting an e-mail every time someone sends a friend request, inbox message, or event invitation, tags a photo of you, comments on a photo, and the list goes on.  If you have a large number of friends, you could be inundated with e-mail!

On the other hand, if you are not a Facebook addict and you only log on occasionally, you may not know about any action on your profile unless you receive an e-mail.  So in this case the e-mail notifications may be handy.

View and Change notification settings

To view your current settings – click “Account” over on the right side and then “Account Settings”.  Click the Notifications tab.

Screenshot of the Notification Settings page in Facebook

There are so many options that the page is split up into different sections, which you can navigate from the list on the right, starting with Facebook, Photos, Groups, Pages on down to Credits and Other Apps.

Just put a check mark next to each item if you want to receive an e-mail notification.  How do you know if you should? Well what I did was check every option at first.  After about a week I had an idea of the amount of e-mail I would receive and then decided it was too much! So then I went back in and removed some of the selections.  One item that I chose to deselect was “Comments after you in a photo”.  This one generated a lot of e-mail when I commented on a friend’s photo, and then 25 more people commented on it after me.  That’s 25 e-mails I didn’t need!

SMS Notifications

For the true Facebook diehard you can have Facebook send notifications to your phone.  To do so just click on the “Send notifications to your phone via SMS” option and follow the instructions.  Then you’ll receive notifications via text when you’re on the go.  I haven’t done this as I’m pretty much in front of a computer 24-7 as it is.

That’s it! Review your notification settings from time to time, and you can keep the amount of e-mail from Facebook to your liking.

For more information – visit Facebook’s help page on notifications.