How To Use Lists On Facebook

I’ve started using lists extensively on Facebook, a practice that has totally changed the way I use the service and made it much more useful to me. I had a request to explain how to use lists, so I figured I’d write up my notes for all comers. (By the way, I learned this from my friend Keith, who is a social media guru.)

When you sign in to Facebook, you should be at the “Home” page. In the upper right corner, you’ll find an “Account” menu. Go to “Edit Friends.” Now go to either “All Connections” or “Recently Added.” At the top you’ll find a button for “Create New List.” Name your list. (I created a “personal” and “professional” list.) Now you can add individual “friends” to whatever lists you want and have created.

Now return “Home.” Type your message in the box under “News Feed.” Beneath that box, you will find a pull-down menu. My menu shows a padlock, because I’ve set my settings to send messages to “Friends Only.” Anyway, in that pull-down menu you can “Customize” who receives your message. You can “Specify People” — including lists — to receive a message. You can also hide a message from particular people or lists.

You can also limit your reading to a particular list. From the “Home” page, click “Friends,” and then a sub-menu should appear with your lists.

Though relatively simple to set up, lists can provide a powerful way to sort your Facebook messages and reading. Before I learned about lists, my usual strategy was to “unfriend” just about everybody, and I was seriously contemplating pulling the plug on Facebook altogether. (I like Twitter much more.) Now, with lists, I almost like Facebook again, and it is actually useful to me.