The (Google) Plusification of Facebook – Smart Lists

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Recently Facebook announced enhancements to lists, including the release of “smart lists.”  This new functionality helps to auto-generate lists for users, a task that was somewhat tedious in the past.

Access your Smart Lists via your home page under your profile photo, in the left column. Note the notification notices beside each list. These are your real time updates conveniently sorted and viewable by a simple click!

Facebook smart lists provide automated friend lists and populates some of the default fields for you (family, work, school, location) based on the information you and your friends have provided in your short bio.

Facebook’s Smart Lists include work, school, family and city. Friends who attended the same college or work for the same company would instantly appear on a smart list, which will have its own News Feed of photos, status updates and other posts from the people on the list. Users may also manually add or subtract names from their smart lists.

Friends lists are completely optional, but why wouldn’t you take advantage of the opportunity to target your status updates and sort your Newsfeed by the information most important to you?

Friends added to the following 3 categories will NOT be notified by Facebook.

For those of you who had already spent time organizing your friends in to lists – no worries!  They are still there, and you can merge them with Facebook’s new default lists.

Perhaps you’d like to share a personal story with your family—without also telling all your co-workers. Target your status updates to specific lists – post an update that only Close Friends can see.

Sort your Newsfeed and find out what’s happening AS it’s happening with your closest friends.

Facebook has also improved its friend suggestions feature, which would help users who may have left some friends off their lists. When a user adds someone as a friend or confirms a friendship request, the user will be able to add the friend to any of their existing lists.

Note: When you add someone to a smart list for a school, workplace or city, your friend will have the option to add that information to their profile, too.

Sometimes users don’t want to share information with others, even if they want to be friends with them, on Facebook. The social network is offering a Restricted list. Users on this list will only see another users’ public posts.

Note: Smart lists respect your privacy settings, so if you only have your current city visible to a few friends, those are the only friends who can have you listed on their current city list. Use the audience selector to choose who you share your profile information with.

How to edit Smart Lists: You can add individual friends to lists by hovering over the Friends button at the top of their profile and selecting from the list names that appear.

Once organized by lists choose which information you see from your friends: all updates, most updates (what you normally see) or only important highlights

You can also edit your lists or create custom lists right from your home page:

  • Click the Home link (along the top-right of every Facebook page)
  • Find the list you want to edit in the left column, or click the More link next to Lists
  • Select the list you want to edit or click Create a List
  • Search for your friends in the search bar at the top of the page, or add people from the List Suggestions on the right

You’ll start to see List Suggestions on the sidebar in various areas.  If I pull up the “Most Recent” newsfeeds for one of my existing lists, Facebook now suggests people it thinks might be applicable additions to this list.  With a click of the + I can add them.

You might want to put people in lists so that you can

  • HIDE certain content from them (posts and profile items)
  • NOT allow them to Tag you or check you into places
  • NOT allow them to see your Friends
  • NOT allow your other friends to see their interaction with you

These may be the most useful lists you have but they have to be built manually.  Start building useful lists here.


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About Nancy Bain

Our services include building optimized, functional and self managed WordPress websites, Nova Scotia social media training and consulting, interactive full screen high definition virtual tours with lead capture and print advertising. For most of our clients, we are their one stop solution for all things marketing, branding and small business development related.

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