Answers to your social media questions

10:19 PM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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NEWS CENTER Social Media Coordinator Brett Whitmarsh joins us to answer your social media questions.

Amy asks: What exactly is snap chat and how old do kids need to be to use it?

Snap chat has made a name for itself as a sexting app, but overall it can be an innocent program. It's an app-based social network, like Instagram, but used for texting. So you download the app on a device and it searches through your contacts and looks for other users. Then you can text an image to another snap-chat user. Snap Chat decides how long the image appears to the other user....meaning it might only appear for a few seconds. And as with all social media, you need to be at least 13 years old to use it.

Where does the image go when it disappears?

For the most part it just goes away, but the company states that it can't guarantee the image will be completely deleted out of their be careful about what you text.

Our next question involves Facebook. Jane asks:
How can a Facebook user make past posts private to protect them from the new Graph Search?

We should really start with what is "Graph Search"?

It's a new Facebook search tool that is slowly starting to roll out. It will take a while for people to see this everywhere, but essentially it is a new way to search within Facebook. So basically you can search things like restaurants near me or friends who like Revolution, but you can also search all public information on Facebook.

So if you don't want your information to show up, take all of your information out of being posted as "public" and set it to "friends" or "friends of friends". This way the only people who will find you when they search for you are your friends.

That leads us to a Facebook post that's been making the rounds:
Elizabeth and Crystal send us this post:

"I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of my family that I don't want strangers to have access to!!! However, with the recent changes in Facebook, the "public" can now see activities on ANY wall. This happens when our friends click "like" or "comment"... automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it that way. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on "FRIENDS" (also without clicking), then down to "Settings", click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on "LIFE EVENTS" "STATUS UPDATES" "PHOTOS" and "COMMENTS & LIKES". By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy and paste this on your wall. Once I see this posted on your page, I will do the same."

She asks "is this true"?

No, this will not do what it claims to do. What it WILL do is remove that particular friend out of your news feed. We use those settings when we go to hide someone, or their posts, on Facebook. I'll also say this... Any time you see a post that says " now copy and paste this on your wall"...99% of the time it is a scam. So if you see this going around tell your friends to stop sharing this.

Jennifer asks:
Can you explain how Facebook 'subscribers' works...why do I have 'subscribers' following me that I don't know?

Subscribe has now turned into "followers" and you can control whether or not you get them in your privacy settings. The idea is that people who don't friend you can still follow or subscribe to you. In some cases if you deny a friend request, those people will be moved over to become followers by default. Followers see anything that you post as public.

John asks:
Next to the area where "friends, close friends, family" is listed, there is a box with a number in it. It goes away after you look at it. But the next time the number appears, it may be different. What do these numbers specify?

These are the number of updates you have for these lists. Some of these lists Facebook makes for you. But if you make up your own list, they will appear here too. The numbers refer to the number of updates since you last logged on or since you last checked that lists for updates.

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