Everything You Need to Know About the Facebook Ticker

Update 8/22/13  Looks like the Ticker is missing.  Facebook is phasing out the Ticker with the release of the new News Feed and not sure if the disappearance of the Ticker is permanent or temporary!

I’m getting a little ticked off about the misconceptions going around about the Facebook Ticker.  What is in the Ticker, how do you control your privacy in the Ticker, and what is up with that message going around about hackers getting into the Ticker?  It’s a bunch of crap.

You may have seen this message:  “Hey everybody. As you all know, I like to keep my FB private except to those I am friends with. So if you all would do the following, I’d appreciate it. With the new FB TIMELINE on its way this week for EVERYONE. . . please do both of us a favor:
Hover over my name above. In a few seconds you’ll see a box that says “Subscribed”. Hover over that, then go to “Comments and Likes” and unclick it.
That will stop all our posts showing up on the side bar for strangers to see. But most important, it limits hackers from invading our profiles. If you repost this I will do the same for you.”

Watch my video where I talk about the problems with this message:

So here’s the skinny on the Ticker and what people can see and what they can’t.  What matters is the original status of the post that you are commenting on and Liking.  If you Like or Comment on a public post, then that information will be shared in the Ticker publicly.  If you Like or Comment on a post that was shared with only that person’s friends, and I am not a friend of that person, then I will not see that information in my Ticker.  But in this example, Kathy shared something on Ricky’s wall and even though I’m not friends with Ricky, Kathy shared it with his friends of friends.  So now I can see it.  If she only shared it with him or his friends, then I would not have seen this activity in the Ticker.

Now you will notice this post:

If I comment on this post, it will not go into the Ticker of all my friends.  It will only show up in the Ticker of my friends who are also friends of Benjamin’s because that is who he allowed the post to be shared with.  Make sense??

What shows up in the Ticker?

  • Status updates from friends and from pages you have liked.  (See the screenshot below showing that more Page updates are only showing up in the Ticker)
  • Friendships
  • Photos – posted and tagged
  • Videos
  • Likes and comments – again you are only going to see these Likes and Comments on the posts that have a public status or the correct permissions.
  • Checkins
  • App Activity (games, Listening, Read – as shown in the screenshot below)
  • Up to one Sponsored Story per day


If you wanted your friend’s comments and Likes to not show up in your Ticker (maybe the Like too much or are an over-commenter) you can uncheck that activity as the message suggests like this:

But doing this for others has no affect on hackers.  You have control over where your posts are seen!  Just watch the privacy setting on the post you are going to post on.  If you keep your own privacy settings under control, and you aren’t clicking on weird Apps in Facebook (like “see what people are saying about you online” messages) then you will be just fine.  Read my post about it here:  5 Ways to Control Your Facebook Privacy.

Now some people wonder about disabling the Ticker.  I highly discourage that because some things are only showing up in the Ticker and not in the News Feed.  Many Page posts are not being seen in the News Feed even if you like the page.  Which is a bit frustrating and I will have more tips on how to combat that problem in the future.

Hope that helps clear up some of the mystery around the Facebook Ticker.  If you would like to read even more about the Ticker check out Facebook’s Help Page:  https://www.facebook.com/help/ticker

What do you think?  Like the Ticker or Hate it?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

About Grandma Mary

Grandma Mary is a slightly cranky Social Media Edutainer, helping small businesses leverage the power of social media. Learning social media is wayyy more fun with Grandma Mary.

  • http://facebook.com/sociallycongruent Phyllis Khare

    Grandma Mary is ALWAYS the voice of reason! I’m with you baby!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cyndi.papia Cyndi Papia

    Thank you, Grandma, for clearing this up.  I can always count on you for clear answers.

  • http://www.youtube.com/MarleneHielema Marlene

    You had me at “It’s a bunch of crap.” It seems to be getting so complicated to use FB now. I need to read this over a few more times. Thx!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for clearing that up.  I always suspected that the bogus message going around about hackers was incorrect.  Now we know!

  • http://dawnkotzerlifecoaching.com/ Dawnkotzer

    Andrea, Even when I don’t completely understand the ‘trail’ of everything you say, I feel better. Thank you for working with us to get facebook working for us!.

  • Donna

    I have seen that message going around so many times – I wonder who makes up these stories.  Donna

  • Cathe

    This maybe a similar question, or completely different, I’m new to fb and trying to get my head around all the privacy issues.

    When I am working on a page that is not published, setting up posts, uploading pictures etc, does this activity show up on my personal news feed or ticker, meaning, do all my personal friends see this activity?

    Thanks for you help!

  • Debra_y

    I hate the ticker. I have things I post on Political and christian Pages I don’t want friends seeing – they aren’t politically on the same page as I am or the same religion. Why have privacy settings if what we do is left to someone else to decide for us. Makes no sense. 

  • Ana

    I have a question Grandma Mary, if i pressed the buttom “Like” in my ex-boyfriend photos, and now i want to “Dislike” some of those photos, it will appear on Ticker my action?? I hope not, cause it will look a litle impolite to all other people, family, friends etc..

  • Heather Myklegard

    Thanks Grandma Mary. I just saw that post by one of my friends and was wondering what all the fuss was about. I will share this article with him.

  • http://www.GrandmaMaryShow.com Grandma Mary

    I think I responded to your e-mail and not here! But I’ll post here so everyone can see. No, unlikes do not appear in the Ticker. The only way they would know is if they knew all the people who Liked that photo and looked back later and saw one was missing – which means they have too much time on their hands! LOL

  • http://www.GrandmaMaryShow.com Grandma Mary

    Good lord, I missed this comment – so sorry! No, nothing shows up when you are working on a Page. And especially if it’s an unpublished page that no one can see.

  • http://www.GrandmaMaryShow.com Grandma Mary

    Glad to help, Heather!

  • Dirk

    Hey Grandma Mary maybe you could help me out with a question :) For example, if someone says he’s – with me in a post, will this show up in the ticker of my friends? And if I hide this on my timeline will it still show up in the ticker or will it delete itself in realtime?

  • Sandy

    If I restrict someone can they still see my likes and comments in the ticker? Can’t find that answer anywhere?

  • http://twitter.com/serenebabe serenebabe

    Y’know, I really liked this article. A *lot.* What I didn’t like, though, was when I clicked “like” for Facebook, a post appeared on the timeline. I wanted to just “like” it so it would show up as a site I like on my own list of “liked” sites. I’m not sure if I’m being clear with my complaint. And, as I write it, I wonder if the point of clicking “like” on an article (rather than on a FB page) is to put it onto the timeline… hrm…

  • http://www.GrandmaMaryShow.com Grandma Mary

    Sorry about that serenebabe – I agree, I think that is a confusing thing about the Like button on articles. That is how they work, they share it with your Facebook friends to say that you Like the article. But the Like box, on the right side of the page, is how you can Like my Page – http://www.facebook.com/GrandmaMaryShow Sorry that isn’t more clear! Darn Facebook Liking.

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  • KJD

    Hi there, I have a question around photo tags.

    I have my privacy set so that if someone goes to my Timeline, they can’t see any of the photos I have been tagged in. They can see my albums but that is all.

    If someone tags me in a photo, would that tag show up in the News Ticker or News Feed of a person who is not friends with the person who tagged me? I hope that makes sense.


  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    I haven’t completely tested that. Do you have the Review your Tags enabled or do you have Who can See posts your tagged in set to “Only me”? I think if you have the Review your Tags on, the friends of the person who did the tagging may be able to see that you were tagged but in either case, I’m not sure and you may want to see if you can set up and test it. Sorry I wasn’t able to help more on that!

  • Onigiriman

    This was a very helpful post, but if I can inquire a bit further. You wrote:
    “If I comment on this [Benjamin’s] post, it will not go into the Ticker of all my friends. It will only show up in the Ticker of my friends who are also friends of Benjamin’s because that is who he allowed the post to be shared with. Make sense??” Just to be clear, any comment you make will only show up on tickers of those who are both friends of you and Benjamin; in other words, even though Benjamin has shared his posts for HIS friends, friends who are NOT your friends will not see your comment on their ticker. Correct? {just confirming} Does this hold true for news feeds as well? If not, then to keep my comments from being posted on my friend’s friend’s news feed, is my only recourse an inbox message?

  • Laci Lewis

    I am curious about this as well!

  • http://twitter.com/YouBeingSocial You Being Social

    Thank you for the clarity on this. The ultimate bottom line is – if you don’t want anyone to see it, don’t put it online, anywhere! This post brings clear understanding to what the ticker is and why people see certain things — definitely going to share this post with my network!

  • http://www.GrandmaMaryShow.com Grandma Mary

    Absolutely! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wren.aghaji Wren Aghaji

    I think the point is being missed here is that I should be able to choose what I share not what I see from friends. I should be up to me what goes in the ticker and that’s what the problem is, the lack of choice surrounding what I choose to tell people.

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  • Givemeallyourmoney

    i was wondering about this and facebook help does not provide any info

  • maro cat

    ticker stop updating
    what can I do ?

  • Ashita

    My ticker has stopped updating since one week and its quite annoying..i tried everything from changing my password and deactivating my account but its still the same..what can I do?

  • Dana

    If I’m playing a game that has the privacy set to ‘Only me’, will it still show up in the ticker that I’m playing it then?

  • Vikrant Mali

    how do i get back my Ticker in my sidebar above the chat window (which includes live stories—things like status updates, friendships, photos, videos, links, app activity, likes and comments.)
    There is no any type of arrow. i have just chat sidebar. please suggest me?

  • Vicky G

    Can people I’ve added to my Restricted Profile list see my activity in their ticker?

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Double check this page (look under the question Why don’t I see the Ticker on my Account). https://www.facebook.com/help/www/255898821192992 You may try a different browser or try clearing the cache of your current browser. Also check the Chrome extenstions to see if there is something there that hides the ticker. There are many people that are having this same problem: https://www.facebook.com/help/community/question/?id=10200428630495497 So it’s not always clear cut! Hope that helps!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    No, your privacy settings control what those people see in their ticker.

  • Beau

    I would like to view only the ticker in a small window….is this possible?

  • vernsviews

    Why does the ticker show stories of people and things I’ve never liked?

  • Will Russell

    Not cool at all, stuff i say on a friends page or on a group should not be made public to people who are not common friends or in that group. Period!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mohammad

    Grandma my facebook tricker is off it stooped activity and I’am wondering why
    i want tot activate it back once again will you help me please

  • saman

    I whould like to make one of my group , hid to see everything
    what can I do? pls