Tuesday, 19 November 2013

What can a Facebook List do for you?

Have you ever been annoyed about the selection of items that land in your News Feed? We know Facebook has algorithms that decide which posts to show you, based on how popular they are and other factors. Early on in the history of the Feed, I grew annoyed at missing things from good friends, just because their posts didn’t have loads of likes or comments or because I hadn’t talked to them recently.

Enter the List. Facebook has this option to help you organise your friends. You can make as many lists as you want, though I’ve only got a handful and really only use two or three regularly – with just one main one.

How to start your list: From your main page, go down the left sidebar until you see the heading called "Friends", hover over it and you will see "More" appear next to it. Click on More, then at the top, "Create List". Inside this function you will find a dropdown menu at the top where you can select Friends or Pages. You can put both types on one list, one after another.

So you go through and make your list. Include all the people whose posts you never want to miss. When you’re done, the list will appear in the sidebar beside your feed. Click on that and the magic begins to happen.

Now you are “on” the list page. Take a look at your browser’s address bar – that’s the list’s unique web address. Go ahead and bookmark that link, stick it on a button in your bookmarks bar…

Then, anytime you want to go to FB, just click that button and you’ll go straight to the most recent posts from your prioritised people.

Of course this might not apply to you if you have a very small circle of FB friends and are satisfied with what the Feed gives you, though I do suspect it won’t be giving you everything your friends say.

It’s certainly very useful once you get more than a few hundred contacts. Inevitably, you’ll know some better than others, and be closer to some than others. Those not chosen can still interact with you on your posts, and there’s nothing stopping you from clicking through to the regular feed anytime you like.

I currently have about 150 people on the list that I keep up with completely. That’s about as much as I can manage from day to day. To everyone else, I’m very sorry – but I far prefer this solution to unfriending you! I still want to keep you in my wider circles and maybe someday something deeper will spark.

Ah, but who is on this list of yours, I hear you ask?

Nope. That’s my secret!
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