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Publisher Tool

When you click the Profile tab at the top of your window, you’ll be brought to your profile. Click on Update Status to bring up a box you can type in (It will ask you “What’s On Your Mind?”). This is called the Publisher tool within Facebook, and it serves as your main portal to sharing information with your network (see Figure 1.14).

Figure 1.14

Figure 1.14 Using the Publisher tool to send a status update that will be dropped into the general news feed based on my preferences.

The Publisher tool initially started out as a field to update your status. But as the platform grew, Facebook updated it to support the sharing of videos, photos, events, smart links, and more options. (Facebook automatically scans a link to pull a title, description, and photo from the site you’re sharing, as shown in Figure 1.15.)

Figure 1.15

Figure 1.15 Adding a link into the Publisher tool. This example shows a blog post from which Facebook automatically pulled in an image, the title, and excerpt.

The Publisher tool allows you to control the privacy settings around status updates made through the tool (see Figure 1.16). Previous to this enhancement, any status you posted would be public to everyone. But, with the new updates, you now have a choice to make your status updates visible to everyone, your network and friends, friends of friends, only friends, or a customized list.

Figure 1.16

Figure 1.16 Some of the privacy settings you can choose for posts.

We address privacy issues in greater detail in Chapter 2, but the update to the Publisher tool was one of biggest steps Facebook made in giving users more privacy controls.

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