No sooner did smartphones becomes a regular passenger in everyone’s pockets than every popular social media outlet and web presence began developing mobile-optimised versions of their content. Sometimes, however, you’d rather use the old, familiar desktop site; our guide is here to show you how to do just that with Facebook, the most popular mobile online platform in the world.
To be clear, mobile-optimised websites are overall a good thing. There are quite a few factors to take into account regarding how a website loads, the nature of its content, and the speed of that websites performance. All of these things can change between desktop and mobile versions of a website, and they can have some surprising repercussions that range from affecting the performance of your mobile device to a website’s affect on the service bill for that device.
Smartphones require a cellular data plan, and that data plan most frequently gets eaten up by streamed content and web browsing. Images and videos can eat bandwidth and data like popcorn, and one of the perks of mobile-optimised content is that it usually strives to be lightweight. This means that it uses fewer amounts of data than it might otherwise if you were accessing the familiar desktop version of the website. Not only will this help to reduce the bite that browsing can take out of your data plan, it will also help your web content to load and move faster. All around, mobile-optimised content keeps the engine of smartphone activity greased-and-moving efficiently.
However, along with that mobile optimization comes quite a lot of compromise. Certain sites that usually pack a wealth of easily accessed features can seem comparatively barebones in their mobile versions, and Facebook is no exception to this. Many users have complained of difficulty managing their video and photo media, altering account settings, adjusting their image tags, and other more minute features that benefit from having full access to the Facebook platform.
The mobile version of the site is good for what it is (and the mobile app is stellar), but there’s no denying that quite a bit is lost in the optimization. Whether or not that’s a cost you can bear depends on what you want to use Facebook for on your mobile device.
Thankfully, accessing the desktop version of Facebook on your mobile device is a remarkably easy process, and it doesn’t require all of the clumsy workarounds that other users have found and created. It doesn’t require third-party apps or extensions, and you won’t lose patience seeing it through. Read on, to find out!
Why Not Use Facebook Mobile?
With all of the benefits of mobile optimization that I listed above, you might think that the drawbacks that come from using it might be few and far between. In most cases, you’d be right, but like any digital media, device, or tool, its usefulness is going to be shaped by the person using it.
Can I come up with any reasons not to use Facebook’s mobile site or its excellent mobile app? Not a single one. Can other users? By the hundreds, apparently, and that’s only counting the wide variety of testimony and number of voices actively searching for a resolution to the issue. The only communication and media interface that packs as many features as Facebook (that I can name off the top of my head, anyway) is Skype, which is widely regarded to be bloated with features. That said, Facebook is a multi-faceted social media outlet. Photos, videos, content sharing, posting, advertising, sales, business, and endless more activities which all make a home on Facebook are dependent upon the variety of tools and features that allow people to use them. These features are flexible, and it’s this flexibility–all within the confines of a clean, minimalist interface–which has persisted since Facebook’s first student-exclusive iterations.
In short, features and options are important. Whether you’re a user that likes the assurance of having them close at hand or someone looking to perform a particular task that the mobile version doesn’t support, this guide is for you.
When you open any mobile search engine and type in “http://www.facebook.com,” you’re going to automatically be directed to the mobile version of the website. Many are thrown for a loop by this automatic redirection because there’s no way to change it in your phone’s settings or the settings within Facebook. From the outset, it looks as if you’re actually not being given any choice in the matter.
Even though we’re going to show you how to access the desktop version of Facebook with a couple of easy steps, it’s still useful to know how to navigate this mobile-optimised version. For starters, you’re going to need to use it (at least to log in to Facebook.) Additionally, consider that you don’t always need every functioning tool in Facebook every time that you visit the site. I will happily recommend that most users become accustomed to the mobile site, and only use the full desktop version when they absolutely need to.
Alternatively, I can’t recommend the actual mobile Facebook app highly enough. Its integration with the Facebook Messenger app and its throughput usefulness make it one of the most often-used applications on my phone, barring none. There’s a reason that it’s become the hub of all social media, worldwide.
The mobile app will give you more flexibility and features than the mobile version of the site, but it still won’t be as wide-open as the desktop experience.
Access the Desktop Version of Facebook
Here’s where things are going to get very simple. The best part is that it’s only going to require two simple steps. No deep menu searching, no changes in any settings.
- First, go to the mobile version of the Facebook site. (You can simply follow the link if you’re reading this from a smartphone!) From here, log in to Facebook as you normally would, and let it direct you to the usual, media-feed landing page that you’re accustomed to.
- Next (without logging out!) go to the following address: http://www.facebook.com/home.php. If done correctly, you should be presented with the very familiar desktop version of Facebook, right there on your mobile device.
On a scale of 1-10, how simple was that? Two easy steps and you have the full functionality that you expect from your social media. To reflect on these two steps, it’s not entirely necessary to log in through the mobile version of the site, but I wanted this guide to be as free of annoying redirection as possible. Also, there aren’t any tricks or actions that can change the actual login process, making the mobile site just as easy to log into as the desktop one.
The address linked in the second step will force Facebook to ignore redirect efforts and take you instead to the usual website, proving once and for all that it most definitely is not blocked off from mobile access.
Tips and Advice
While I hope that the above instructions simplified things for you, there are a few other tips and tricks I can offer that will help you to streamline the process even further.
- Log out once you’re finished! The reason? Facebook is capable of using a metric ton of data, and unless you’re constantly connected to a reliable Wi-Fi service, you definitely don’t want it munching away at your data plan every time you open your browser. For your own best interest, sign out of Facebook once you’re finished and close the tab within your mobile browser.
- Consider bookmarking! The web URL that takes you directly to the desktop version of Facebook can be tiresome to enter into your address bar every time you want to visit, so consider bookmarking this specific URL for future use.
- Take stock of your activity! As I said above, it can be very useful to pay attention to your own needs within the Facebook site and only use the desktop version on your mobile device when it’s necessary.
While it’s handy to be able to do, your eyes and fingers likely won’t appreciate constant reliance on the desktop version of Facebook on your mobile device. Since it’s not optimized for a considerably smaller screen, please expect plenty of squinting, misclicking, and resizing of content so that you can actually see it.
The best solution would be to have access to all of Facebook’s features within the mobile app, but this would somewhat defeat the purpose of allowing the mobile version to be much lighter weight than the desktop version. Though some users may find it lacking, whoever is paying the cell phone bill should likely be thankful.
Hopefully, the above guide, tips, and discussion have helped you to not only learn how to access the Facebook desktop site on your mobile app, but also to become more interested and informed on how Facebook operates in general. Don’t be afraid to share your own thoughts and questions in the comments section below!