10 Hidden Secrets on Facebook, Google and More of Your Favorite Websites
Even though most of us spend way too much time glued to the Internet, there’s still a variety of hidden secrets on your favorite and most frequented websites that you’ve likely missed. With plenty of high-profile sites containing hidden features and Easter eggs, we thought we’d uncover some of our favorites and some of the most expertly concealed secrets for your viewing pleasure.
Here are 10 hidden secrets that can be found on Facebook, Google and more:
1. Facebook Chess and Basketball
If you’re bored of talking to your friends on Facebook Messenger, you can choose to play one of two hidden games on the site. Basketball is by far the easiest to get to grips with, as it only requires you to post a basketball emoji to a friend in order to play it. It’s simple but addictive, and you can play it in a group chat, too, setting high scores and challenging your friends to beat them.
Chess is a little more tricky. In order to play it, you’ll need to post the message “@fbchess play” to a friend, with it then bringing up a virtual chess board. To play, you’ll need to issue commands such as “@fbchess d5” in order to move your pawns, with each piece abbreviated to the first letter of its name – for instance, “B” is Bishop, “R” is Rook and so on. The Knight is the only exception to that rule, with its abbreviation being “N” for some reason.
While the latter game may be infinitely more confusing than simply whipping out a chess board, Facebook Basketball is so simple and addictive that it can eat up plenty of your time, making it well worth checking out for those who were previously unaware of its existence.
2. Google Earth flight simulator
One of the neatest hidden secrets you’ll find online is tucked away in Google Earth, granting players the opportunity to essentially play Flight Simulator in real-world locations. By pressing CTRL + ALT + A (or Command + Option + A for Mac), Google Earth users can take control of either an F-16 or an SR22 and take off from one of many airports around the world, exploring the sights around them in the process. This little Easter egg even allows users to plug in a joystick for that authentic Flight Simulator feel.
3. Combining subreddits on Reddit
A little-known Reddit trick allows users to combine content from different subreddits, with them then being able to browse content from similar subreddits – or completely opposing ones – at will. All users have to do is add a “+” sign between the subreddits titles in their url, instantly merging all of the content into one multi sub. For instance, if users want to put themselves through both an adorable and unsettling half hour of Reddit viewing, they can enter the url “reddit.com/r/aww+creepy.”
4. Secret Facebook inbox
This one’s a weird oversight on Facebook’s behalf that the company really should have been more transparent about, considering that many users have found themselves sitting on unopened messages that they didn’t even know they’d received. Facebook’s “hidden” message inbox essentially consists of filtered messages the site has automatically decided you probably don’t want to see, with messages from Facebook users not in your direct social circle or, more commonly, spam messages ending up in this folder. You can access it on a desktop by going to Messages, selecting the More option and then clicking Filtered. If you’re on mobile, you’ll have to launch the Messenger app, click the Settings icon then select People and then Message Requests, before tapping See Filtered Requests.
5. Google’s fun facts
If you want to while away the next few hours of your life descending down a black hole of Google searches, simply type “fun facts” in the site’s search bar. The search engine will then display a widget that features a randomized piece of trivia, with users then able to ask it another question in order to further educate themselves about another random subject.
6. YouTube’s lean back mode
If you’re watching YouTube using your desktop but want a more comfortable viewing experience, then the video sharing site’s lean back mode is just what you’ve been looking for. If you type YouTube.com/leanback into the address bar of your browser, you’ll be presented with a version of YouTube that can be browsed using your keyboard alone. This mode replicates the version of the site utilized by its app.
7. The Google Maps Tardis
If you view London’s Earl’s Court Station in Street View on Google Maps, you’ll spot a familiar looking police box positioned at the side of the road. Click on it, and you’ll be transported inside the Tardis from Doctor Who, with you able to explore the Doctor’s iconic time-traveling method of transportation.
8. YouTube’s Star Wars reference
If you type “use the force Luke” or into YouTube’s search bar, you’ll uncover a secret nod to Star Wars, with the thumbnails on the page bouncing around in accordance with where you position your mouse. YouTube also used to allow users to search for “beam me up Scotty” in order to have their videos teleported to them a la Star Trek, but it seems the site has since removed this hidden feature.
9. Google’s Breakout mode
If you search “Atari Breakout” on Google Images, the entire page will turn into a version of the famous arcade game, with the images transforming into blocks you’re tasked with destroying. Fun if you’re looking to waste some time, not so fun if you actually want to find an image of Breakout.
10. The Konami code
The Konami Code is used by multiple websites to unearth funny little secrets. The code was first made popular on the Konami video game Contra, with players able to enter Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start in order to gain infinite lives in the infamously difficult game. The code has since been implemented in multiple Konami games, leading to it earning a place in pop culture history, with it now being present on a number of websites in order to gain access to various Easter eggs.
BuzzFeed is one of the more high-profile examples of a site that uses the Konami Code. Previously visitors of the website could enter in the code (replacing Start with the Enter key) in order to transform it into “SlothFeed,” though now it displays a giant image of the site’s CTO Mark Wilkie along with his surname branded throughout the site. You can also use it on various subreddits to uncover different secrets, with my personal favorite being its implementation on r/SquaredCircle. Check it out.