I’m puzzled by the fact that when some people post requests for recommendations on Facebook a map is included. Not only that, though, sometimes the map is of the wrong place!? How can I post a request and have it all look right?
Facebook has started scanning posts and updates for key words and taking actions based on whether they’re found. For example, type in the word “congrats” or “congratulations” on a comment and watch what happens. Neat, but where’s this documented? 😛
In the same way, it seems that the existence of the word “recommendation” or “suggestions” along with the word “location” or “where” in a Facebook status update and that map shows up, whether you specify where you want it to be centered or not. You can remove it after the fact, but my suspicion is that a number of people who get the recommendation map don’t notice it or don’t know how to give it a center spot, so it ends up counterproductive instead of useful.
The crazy thing is, it’s really easy to work with. In fact, if you’re willing to experiment and do some “mad science” tests, there’s not much you can’t figure out in Facebook with a bit of testing and exploration. Let’s reverse engineer, shall we?
Here’s a post I made this morning:
It has the map, the map is of the right city – I live in Boulder, Colorado – and it even has a funny emoji tag line too “thinking about keeping my car clean”. More importantly, it has the phrase “suggestions where I can…” which seems to trigger all the fun.
How did I do it all? Let’s go step by step to find out.
To start, a standard status update:
Nothing astonishing about this, it’s what you should be used to seeing when you’re entering a status update on Facebook (at least with the Desktop app).
Let’s start by adding the “thinking about…” message. That’s a “Feeling/Activity” so click on that button.
Choose your base emotion — or “Custom” if you want something completely new — and type in the phrase part. I’ll type in “keeping my car clean” which is prefaced by the “thinking about”. Then you get to pick the perfect emoji to go with it or, as in my case, if you’ve used this one before, it’ll suggest an emoji:
Couldn’t be much easier. Just click to confirm and we’re ready to post:
We don’t want to “check in” because it’s not a specific place. Instead, let’s have Facebook do the work.
A click or tap on “Post” and here’s what shows up:
Looks good except, well, a map of the entire United States is less than helpful. You could click on the big blue “Add a Location to your Post” button, but instead, click on the “X” in the top right corner of the map. Here’s what shows:
Ah, a second chance. Click on “Edit Location” and you’ll get a chance to pick a city, even one far away from your location:
That’s it. I choose “Boulder, Colorado” and that’s how I got the original post on Facebook. Now ya know!