Ready to join Facebook, the world’s most popular social network? Setting up an account is easy!

Social networks use your existing email address as your proof of identity, and Facebook is no exception. If you have a Google Gmail account, that’s handy, because Gmail is accepted at all major social networking sites. But any email address will work.

Use your web browser to visit facebook.com. You’ll see a login screen, ready and waiting for your details!

Set up a Facebook account by entering your details into the Welcome page.

Enter your first name, last name, and email address. You’ll need to put in your email address again, as confirmation.

Choose a password – it needs to be at least eight letters long. Facebook will ask you to enter a couple of words to prove you aren’t a robot, then you’re signed up and ready to go!

Before you get to the main Facebook page, you’ll have the option to try to import friends from your email address.

Now you can enter a few items for your profile page – you can to skip this and come back to do it later if you like.

The sign-up process will ask for personal details for your Profile page – you don’t have to provide these if you don’t want to.

To complete sign up, upload a photo of yourself as your profile picture. This makes it easier for your friends to find you on Facebook – you want them to pick the right John Smith, after all!

Upload a photo to help distinguish yourself from other Facebook users with the same name.

One more thing – you will receive an email from Facebook asking you to confirm your sign up. Click the link in the email – this proves to Facebook that you really want the account, and it will unlock all the features.

Finding and adding friends

When you first create a Facebook profile, it’s pretty much a blank slate. Nothing much will appear on your Facebook homepage – so you need to add some friends. Friends can be people you know personally, public figures such as entertainers or politicians, organisations, companies and even brands.

You can think of Facebook as a sort of high-tech radio: you tune it in to the people and things you want to follow.

Log in to your Facebook account, and type a friend’s name in the Search bar. A list of people with that name will appear. The people at the top of the list are either geographically closest to you, or already friends with someone else you know.

Type someone's name to see if they're on Facebook.

Hopefully you can recognise your friends and family from their profile picture! Click on the person you want to add.

Facebook will send that person a notification saying you want to be friends. Add a personal message here may help them identify you, especially if you haven’t seen them in a long time.

You won’t actually be Facebook friends until that person has accepted your friend request. This is to protect their privacy – and yours!

Once you’ve added a few friends, Facebook will start to suggest ‘People you may know’.

When a person becomes your friend, their updates, photos and comments will appear on your News Feed – that’s your Facebook home page.

You can talk to a friend in two ways. Either send them a private message, which stays between you. Or you can post on their wall and comment on something they’ve posted – this is visible to all your friends.

You can send private and public messages to friends on Facebook. Messages that everyone can view are posted onto your Facebook 'Wall'.

When a friend accepts your friend request, or someone asks to be your friend, a little red number appears at the top left of the page; click the icon to see who it is.

There’s no limit to the number of friends you can add.