Facebook recently revised its Lists feature to make it much easier to organize your friends into groups like Family, Colleagues, Close Friends, and so on. Some are automatically populated based on associations and algorithms known only to FB techies, while others require a bit of manual effort to fill up. It's not so much work, and it's well worth it. Here's how to get going:
- First, you need to check to see if lists have shown up on your FB page yet. If not, you may want to wait a day or two, as the rollout isn't quite complete yet.) It's easy--just check over on the left sidebar under the Favorites section.
- Click More next to Lists to bring up the main Lists page. You should see Close Friends and Acquaintances at the top; these are the two lists that you have to fill up manually. The rest are populated automatically, but you can add or subtract friends from each list if you like.
- Let's start with Close Friends. Click its name to bring up a new page that lets you add friends to the list and update your status so that only friends on the list can see it. Suggestions are on the right and easy to add, but you can add anyone you want by typing their names into the box up top or heading over to you main Friends list and adding them manually. The Acquaintances list works the same way.
- It's a good idea to check out the prepopulated lists, too--often they are incomplete, and there can be some funny (or not so funny) additions. Click any list to get started; most lists should be pretty well stocked. My example is a large volunteer organization in which only staff members were automatically added. There are quite a few volunteers suggested, and it's easy to add them all in pretty quickly.
- Once your lists are locked in, you should be good until you add new friends. Make adding them to lists the first thing you do and you should find that it becomes second nature. Of course, if you're colleagues or classmates, they should already be added to those lists as soon as they confirm.
- If you want to send out an update to a list, just click it and start typing in the text box. You can also limit your feed to one list or skip around freely. From the main FB page, any update can be limited to a particular list easily; just click Public under the text box and select a list.
There you have it. Not quite as brainlessly easy as Google+, but still pretty simple and easy for most of us to use.