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How to use Facebook Lists for better Organization, Privacy and Security


Facebook introduced ‘Smart Lists’ last week to help users bring more organization and privacy to their Facebook experience. The ability to create Lists has been available for a very long time, but only a very small percentage of users utilized the feature. Lists offer great sharing and privacy benefits if used correctly. Facebook is hoping that “Smart Lists” will give users the nudge they needed to better embrace the benefits they provide.

As we covered in another post, Smart Lists automatically group people based on their common characteristics and is dynamically updated.

If you are in the majority, and have never used Lists on Facebook before, why not improve and better secure your Facebook experience?

Lists are now located in the left column right under ‘Favorites.’ Clicking on the ‘Lists’ link brings up the following page:


Here you can select a list just by clicking on it. Once clicking on a specific list, the following screen is displayed. You can add friends and Facebook pages to the specific list, and your friends and Pages can be added to multiple lists. If you have a relative, who happens to be a close friend, and a gaming buddy, then you could add this person to all three lists.


Here is where things get interesting and you can really get creative in your list management. You can create a new list and name it anything you want. This is a great way to organize your friends and pages according to your relationships and interests. 


Notice in the image shown above we added ‘Church friends,’ and ‘Gaming friends,’ just to show a couple of possibilities. We also added ‘News,’ and ‘Sports.’ You can add a list for any hobby or activity that strikes your fancy. At this point we would add any “News” Facebook pages that we have liked to that list. So, now in the morning when we are drinking our coffee, we can click the “News” list in the left column and only the updates from those pages would be displayed on our Newsfeed.  

If you have a lot of friends or have a lot of “likes” on Facebook, Lists give you a great way to clear the clutter on your Newsfeed and zone in on specific interests. You could create lists of the following interests and activities to zone in on that specific information:

  1. Major News Outlets
  2. Musicians and Bands
  3. Actors, Celebrities and Famous Personalities
  4. Favorite T.V. Shows and Movies
  5. Sports Teams

You get the idea…

The lists also serve another purpose when you are posting status updates and other items to your Wall. After you enter your status update, you can choose to share it with a specific list.


Also of note is the ‘Restricted’ List that appears at the bottom. This list can only see posts and profile information that you make public. It would be a good idea to put casual acquaintances, people you felt obligated to accept their friend request, etc. on this list.


As you can see, creating lists can make time on Facebook more enjoyable, organized and private.

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