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Friend Requests: Make yourself Visible on Facebook!

I recently saw a comment go by from one of my Twitter friends about how annoyed she gets when people invite her to connect on Facebook, yet they limit her view of their profile. I’m paraphrasing, because the language was a bit stronger! 🙂

In my experience, most Facebook members don’t know how to properly adjust their privacy settings. Or they don’t understand the implications of all the settings.

For me, I choose to have most all of my profile page viewable by anyone for the very reason my Twitter friend is pointing out: how will you know you’d like to connect with me unless I let you see at least some information about me?!


First, know that the navigation on Facebook is the same on every single page. The top, left, and bottom links ALL relate to your account.

So, click on privacy at the very top right (also appears at the very bottom right), and on the page that comes up click on Profile as shown in the screenshot below:


On the next page, click on the dropdown menu next to Profile and make sure the setting is All my networks and all my friends. This should hopefully be self-explanatory.


However, you also need to tweak the settings to override this one for everyone outside of your network. Otherwise, you’re not visible to millions of potential new friends in all the other networks.

So return to the privacy page and click on Poke, Message, and Friend Request, as shown in the screenshot below:


On the next page, you now have the option of selecting any or all of the various portions of your profile that you’d like to temporarily allow anyone to view.

As I’ve highlighted in turquoise for you below, you’ll see what this does is help people identify who you are before they respond.


As you can see, I’ve chosen to select all the categories. If you deselect all of them on your settings, people who are not your friends and who are outside your network (depending on which setting you chose under Profile), will NOT be able to see anything about you except your name and profile picture. That’s it. (I actually helped my mom set up her profile like that so she could feel confident with the highest level of privacy).

Mari Smith

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is widely known as the Premier Facebook Marketing Expert and a top Social Media Thought Leader. Forbes describes Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” IBM named Mari as one of seven women that are shaping digital marketing. Mari is an in-demand keynote speaker, corporate social media strategist, dynamic live webcast host, and popular brand ambassador. She is coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day, and author of The New Relationship Marketing.

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  1. mari on February 17, 2008 at 7:34 am

    @Willa – very good point you raise. It really all is a personal choice; each of us has to feel safe and comfortable in our online actions.

  2. Willa Potgieter-Huang on February 12, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    There is also a safety reason why we would choose not to make our information to just any one available .. but once you connect with me via a message requesting possible connection and we have chatted a bit I will accept the friendship and let you see my whole profile .. when I attempt to make the new contact, I will tell the person who I am .. where I met them/read about them and why I think we should build a connection …

    so I opt to remain very private to the whole Facebook community, but then once a friendship/connection is initiated you will view my full profile 🙂

  3. mari on February 11, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    @Patty – yes, very good point!! No personal greeting is way up there on my pet peeves list. 🙂 I’ll be blogging about that topic shortly too.

  4. Patty Hankins on February 11, 2008 at 8:52 pm


    Thanks for the great info on settings and friend requests.

    I think the only think I find more frustrating than a friend request that shows up with only a limited profile – is one that arrives with a limited profile and no message – so I have no clue why the person making the request wants to connect with me.


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