Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tagging Friends on Facebook...the way you want to

So you really enjoy tagging your friends on Facebook, especially in comments, but you would like to edit how that tag appears. Facebook loves to deliver "full" tags, but how often you to use "full" names in conversation?  You would really like to say, "Hey Mark, let's do coffee." but Facebook requires you to say "Hey Mark Zuckerberg, let's do coffee" which feels a little like always talking in 3rd person.

My good news...you can edit the tag, and I will show you how.

First, a bit about Facebook tagging.
  • Facebook will start suggesting friends after you type 5 consecutive characters which match someone in your list of friends. If you want to tag Barack Obama (and you are friends with him), Facebook will offer him as a tagging suggestion once you type B-a-r-a-c .
  • Facebook will also offer suggestions for names with 4 or less characters if you type the entire name. For example, if you want to tag Mark Zuckerberg (and again, you are friends with him), Facebook will offer him as a tagging suggestion once you type M-a-r-k .
  • Once you spot the tag you want, just click or arrow to select it.
Onward, to editing the tag.
  • Perhaps you want to tag your friend John Doe, but you also want the comment to read something like this, "Thanks, John, for being such a unique friend." You really want the Doe out of there.
  • Once you have John Doe established as a tag, then hit your Backspace key to remove the last name. Facebook will remove the last name from the text, but will retain the entire first and last name for the tag. So John Doe will be tagged, but the comment will only have the first name of John.
  • Alternatively, you can use your mouse or arrow keys to navigate into the tag. This way you  can take out the first name, if you desire. "Thanks, Doe, for being such a unique friend."
And now the disclaimers:
  • Unlike some tags, you cannot entirely invent your own name, or use a nickname. For example, if I always knew John Doe as Scooter, I'm out of luck. Facebook will not let me use the text Scooter to tag John Doe.
  • Facebook will require you retain either the first or last name for the tag. In other words, you establish John Wilbur Doe as a tag, you can use John or John Wilbur (from the beginning of the tag) or Wilbur Doe or Dow (from the end of the tag). You cannot use Wilbur by itself, because that is not the first or last name of the tag.
Give this a try. Like just about anything else I write about here, you will latch onto these little tricks once you try them. And this little one, easy as it is, will make you look like a Facebook pro. Somebody is going to ask you, "Psst...can you show me how you did that?" and you will be a genuis in their eyes.