Life moves pretty fast. Sometimes it moves so fast we just don’t have time to stop and maintain all of our social networks individually. But that’s no reason to leave your Facebook profile barren, because you don’t even have to make it all the way to Facebook to update your status.
Here are some methods of updating your Facebook profile when on the go or while using some of the other networks and services you already use.
An easy to use Firefox extension called FireStatus can enable you to update your Facebook status right from a collapsible tray at the bottom of your browser. It also includes a URL shortening function as well, and you can set whether you’d like tinyURL or urlBorg as your short URL service in the preferences.
There are a few ways to pipe your Twitter status updates right into Facebook, avoiding the need to double post items or spend a ton of time maintaining a dual-life on both networks.
Selective Twitter – If you’re looking for more manual control over exactly which Twitter updates make it over to Facebook, you might want to try this app instead. It only sends tweets at Facebook status updates if you include the hashtag #fb at the end of your message.
Twitter clients – Once you’ve set up either of the above Facebook apps to pipe Twitter into Facebook, you can of course use any desktop or mobile Twitter client to continue updating your Facebook status as well.
Facebook has mobile services built right in, making it easy to both send status updates in and get information back out to your phone. To enable posting from your phone, go to the Mobile tab under your Account Settings. You’ll have to Add a Phone number to associate it with your account and begin sending status updates, so click on the Add phone number link.
You’ll be prompted to choose your carrier, then send a text message to Facebook from your phone. The Facebook mobile number is 32665 (FBOOK), which you’ll probably want to add to your contacts list for easy retrieval. Facebook will send back a confirmation code when it receives your SMS, which you then enter into the next step.
After successfully linking your mobile phone to your account, you can begin sending status updates to 32665. You can also modify the type and frequency of text alerts sent back to your phone when friends interact with your profile or send you messages, and set whether or not you want to receive confirmation messages when updating from your phone. You can even turn off all the incoming text alerts and still continue to send your own status updates to Facebook.
Facebook added a way for you to send photos or videos to your profile page via email. You can find your unique personal upload email on the Facebook mobile page. Simply attach the photos or videos you’d like to send in your email, and use the subject line as the caption (if you upload more than one piece of media at a time, they will all get the same caption). By default the media you send will be incorporated into your “Mobile Upload” photo album, subject to its privacy settings.
Status update services are emerging out of the swelling sea of social sites and the growing need to manage them all. These sites typically store your login credentials for all the networks you participate in, and allow you to update any or all of them in one fell swoop. They can save you the time updating lots of individual sites when what you really want is the same message broadcast multiple places.
Two very full-featured offerings in this category are ping.fm and hellotxt. Of the two, hellotxt has been around longer (since 2007), although ping.fm has grown fairly popular in its own right. Both services offer posting to dozens of social networks from a number of different sources, so you may simply want to try both and decide which one you like best.
This is a simple solution, because it’s the same as the previous section. You can use either ping.fm or hellotxt to send updates to Facebook from your instant messenger client. Typically you’ll add a special chat bot that you need to send messages to in order to update your Facebook status. Services supported include AOL Instant Messenger, Gtalk / Jabber, Yahoo Instant Messenger, and MSN.
The number of sites that support sending updates to Facebook either through the API or as an application continue to grow every day. If it’s a service you use frequently and want to pipe into Facebook, it’s worth investigating whether the site supports it, provides an app, or whether a third-party has developed a connector app to link the two services.
Just a few of the sites and services that can be connected to your Facebook page include Pandora, WordPress via Wordbook, last.fm (you might want to try their What I’m Listening To app for a simpler method as well), Flickr , Qik, Ustream, gamerDNA , Raptr, and more.
Additionally, almost anything that outputs an RSS feed can be imported to your Facebook profile via the Notes application. Any time you update that site, service or feed, it will also then be displayed on your Facebook profile.
Just take care about which sites you route into each other, in case you inadvertently end up double posting (or worse!) items to your feed. Take a few moments and plan out which services you think your Facebook friends would even care about as well — it’s not necessarily the best idea to dump absolutely everything you do everywhere into your profile. But used thoughtfully and in moderation, you can keep an active Facebook profile going without exhausting yourself trying to keep all your networks updated on your every thought and breakfast selection.
Have any other useful tips for posting to Facebook without going to Facebook? Are there other Facebook tips you’d like to see here? Let us know in the comments!