Facebook revamps its help centre

BARBARA ORTUTAY
Last updated 11:44 03/10/2012

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If you've used Facebook, chances are you've needed help with reporting spam, un-tagging photos or understanding the site's ever-changing privacy settings over the years.

Facebook's redesigned Help Centre aims to make it easier for users to navigate and find what they need help with on the site or its mobile applications.

Though it's only fully accessible on Facebook's website, the new help centre is designed to look and feel more like a mobile app, said Terry Guo, product manager at the Menlo Park, California-based social media company.

Finding answers has also been streamlined so that what might have taken five clicks of a mouse on the old help centre will now take three or fewer, Guo said.

Instead of loading individual Web pages for new topics, for example, topics and answers to questions slide in and out when you click on them, which is faster.

The new help centre is available to all users as of Tuesday. Users will see large icons representing six main topics, such as privacy basics, reporting problems or learning more about Timeline, the new profile page on Facebook. For people looking for help with a specific problem, the help centre's search feature scans more than 5,000 "frequently asked questions" to suggest answers on everything from reporting spam and changing a relationship status to managing public pages.

Facebook said it's also working on tailoring the help centre to individuals. For example, if a user visits it without logging in to Facebook, he or she might see information about creating a new password. Eventually it'll add more scenarios.

In addition to the revamped help centre, Facebook is rolling out its "support dashboard" to all users worldwide. Located in "account settings," this feature, launched in April, lets users check the status of pages, photos or posts they may have reported to the company as abusive, containing spam or for another reason.

Facebook first launched the help centre in 2007, when it had just a fraction of its more than 955 million current users. Guo said that while many companies outsource their online help centres to outside providers, Facebook treats it as a product, with constant updates designed to make it better. So is it done?

"I don't think we are there yet," he said.

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- AP

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