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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!