Responding to a recent Facebook status update where I mentioned I categorize my friends into different lists, Jennifer Halloran, Matthew Gilbert, Elysa Rice, Paula Kirman, and Gillian Swart, among others, indicated curiosity and sought more information on the category lists I use.
For the benefit of everyone else, I told them I’d create a blog post.
If you want to group your Facebook friends into lists of categories (or to see the default categories already set up for you to use), the first step is to click the Friends tab at the top of the page:
Depending whether or not you’ve already created friend lists, you’ll see something like this:
If you click that to zoom-in, you will see the left sidebar displays search functions at the top, e.g. recently added or updated friends; and the ability to view selected friend lists. Depending what’s selected on the left, the center column will display relevant content.
In the screen shot, you can see default friend lists for my Boston and Suffolk networks; and customized friend lists for Jewish friends, people from my hometown, former high school classmates of mine, college friends, and more. Because nothing is selected on the left, the center displays a running list of my friends in alphabetical order by first name–and the lists, if any, in which I currently have them grouped.
For instance, AJ Gerritson, Aaron Strout, Adam Cohen, and Adam Hirsch are within my generic Tweeps list, which is a name I use for people I either 1) have never met; and/or 2) are reaching out to me, typically because they follow me on Twitter. While AJ, Aaron, and Adam I’ve met in person, I don’t have a “friends” list as I consider all 795 mutual Facebook friends of mine as such.
There are many reasons to have Facebook friend lists–e.g. companies could separate customers from vendors from employees; or celebrities could separate friends who are fans from friends who are true friends. Facebook privacy is the motivation for most.
I use lists for two primary reasons:
- On my “home page,” I can select a friend list to view selected updates.
- In my privacy settings, I can prevent certain lists from viewing certain data.
How about you?