How to Use Facebook Lists for Better Organization, Privacy and Security

Facebook introduced ‘Smart Lists’ 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 and displayed under the heading ‘Friends.’ Clicking on the ‘Friends’ link takes you to the following page:

friends_list

Here you can select a list just by clicking on it or create a new one. You can add friends and Facebook pages you have liked to specific lists, 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.

There is another easy way to start a list or add one of your favorite pages to an existing one. Navigate to the Facebook page you want to add, and click the “Like” button on the right side of the page underneath the cover photo. Next, you’ll click the ‘Add to Interest Lists’ link so you can add the page to an existing list or create a new one.

add_to_interest_list

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.

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.

share_with_friends_list

Clicking the ‘More Options’ link shown above will open up your lists and allow you to share the item accordingly. Just keep in mind that all future posts will default to this setting.

As an example, we created a list called “Facecrook’s Posts.” and added our page to it. As you can see, the list shows our most recent posts similar to the old layout. This might get laborious to do for each page, but you could do it for your favorite pages that you visit often. (like ours) :)

Use Lists to Protect Your Facebook Privacy

If you have casual acquaintances, game friends or anyone else that you don’t want  snooping around on your Timeline, then you can assign those people to your ‘Acquaintance’ list. You aren’t quite done here. You’ll then need to go into your ‘Timeline and Tagging’ settings and configure the options shown below to ‘Friends Except Acquaintances.

timeline_and tagging_settings

Another option is to assign people to the ‘Restricted’ List that appears at the bottom. This list can only see posts and profile information that you make public.

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



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