27 February 2014


I help administer the Facebook group "Newtown High School Elmhurst, New York Alumni". Every now and then someone new would ask, "I am from Class of xxxx, are there anyone else from my year?", where xxxx would be some year, e.g. 1985 or 1967.  Being the vigilant admin that I am, I would use the search function to find messages in the group containing that year number.  I periodically ask new members to announce themselves, such as stating their names and years.  Subsequent searches would easily find people of the same year.  I tried to create a spreadsheet but that takes forever.

The Search gadget is not too hard to find on a laptop or desktop computer.  It's the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the group's main page.  But on a mobile device, such as the iPhone, with the mobile Facebook site or in the Facebook app, that is not the case.

On a desktop or laptop computer, the Search gadget is invoked by clicking the magnifying glass in the upper right of the group's main page, highlighted by the red oval above.
A sample search for "1993" yielded many hits.  Some hits are obvious, others you need to click on to see comments related to the entry.

As far as I know, there is no way to carry out a search using the Facebook app.  You can do some administration of the group, but no way can you find a certain phrase or word in the group.  The one search function the app has applies to the whole Facebook universe.

That leaves the mobile Facebook web page.  I specified "mobile" because for better use of limited screen real estate, when you put www.facebook.com into Safari (or some browser) you don't see the Facebook presented to a desktop user.  (From this point on, "desktop" implies "laptop" as well.)  You see some essential stuff, but things are reformatted so you don't have to zoom around. When you get to a group, the admin options are just as limited as the app.  But there is hope!

Perhaps you already know that at the top of the screen, on the left, there is this gadget consisting of three horizontal bars.  Click on it and you can get to your Groups, your Pages, very much what you would find on the left side of a Facebook screen on a desktop.  Scroll all the way to the bottom and you have the "Desktop Site" link.  Choose that and you no longer have to deal with the re-formatted Facebook view.  Of course, things look smaller, but that's the price you pay.  Just zoom in on the area surrounding the gadget and search away!

Click the gadget to get to Groups etc.

Desktop Site is what you would click to see the whole Facebook page, not the re-formatted version.
Hard to see, but there it is on the right near the top.

Just zoom in to enter what you need to search for.

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