In the world of Facebook, just like in the real world, not everything you say is intended for everyone you know. Sure, your college roommate might appreciate that slightly off-color meme, but your mother and your boss might not. Fortunately, Facebook has a list function that allows you to organize your friends list into neat little boxes. Now you can share your kids’ photos and your somewhat inappropriate ruminations with the right people.
How Facebook Lists Work
Basically, a Facebook list is a privacy setting that lets you target any content you share with a specific group of people. That can be helpful when you need to keep your boss out of your new job search or keep mutual friends of an ex from knowing about your private life. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter why you use lists. You might just have a group of friends that engage more with certain types of posts and friends who can do without the same types of posts -- maybe your friends who care about politics. So you can choose to leave other people out of the conversation.
When you post to a list, only the people on that list can see what you’ve posted. In fact, you can even check to see which of your friends can see which of your posts. Facebook allows you to view your page as if you were a specific user. That can come in handy when you want to make sure that a friend of yours didn’t see something you didn’t want them to.
How to Setup and Manage a Facebook List
Setting up and managing Facebook lists is very user friendly. Here’s how you do it:
- Log in to Facebook.
- On the left-hand side bar, look for the section called “Friends.”
- Hover over that box and the word “More” will appear. Click on “More.”
- At the top of the new page, there will be a button reading “+ Create List.” Click on that.
- A pop-up will appear allowing you to name the list and add people to it. Go ahead and take care of that. Don’t worry if you get everyone in. We’re not done yet.
- Navigate back to the page you used to set up your friends list.
- Find the list you just created. If this is your first list, it should be pretty easy to find.
- On the right-hand toolbar, find “See All.” Click that.
- A pop-up will appear. At the upper left-hand corner there’s a drop-down menu. You can use that to select between people on the list and all your friends. This is the easiest way to add and remove people from the list. If a check mark and a blue border surround the image, the person is on the list. Otherwise, they’re not.
It sounds more complicated than it is. Once you set up one list, they’ll get easier. What’s even better is that you can send posts out to multiple lists at the same time. When you add or remove someone from the list, they can see everything that has been posted on that list.
Nicholas Pell is a freelance writer based in Hollywood, CA. He writes about music, personal finance and technology for publications such as LA Weekly, Salon and Business Insider. He’s been online since the days of Usenet groups and bulletin board systems.